Property Law Summary

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-Historically there were two branches of Property Law: • Real property: (Land and interests in land) • Personal property: (Everything besides land and interests in land) -The reason for the two separate branches is that historically land was the most valuable type of property (and arguably still is). -This course predominately focuses on real property. *Note that personal property can become real property by being attached to real property – referred to as ‘fixtures’. (E.g. carpet fixed to a house). SEE LATER FOR FULLER DISCUSSION OF FIXTURES.

-General terminology: • Licence: all rights in relation to land, which look like a property rights, but are not actually property rights. ❖ Bare licence: The licence is not coupled with any form of consideration, and therefore can be revoked at will. ❖ Contractual licence: A licence coupled with a contract, and therefore may have remedies in breach of contract (damages, etc.).

-Real Property (Common law) rights: • Fee Simple – An unencumbered inherited interest in land. It is almost equal to ownership (the crown actually owns all the land, but people have the right to reside on the land. • Native title – To be distinguished from the common law system. • Life estate – This estate lasts until death, i.e. it is not inheritable. • Lease / tenancy agreement – The right of possession is given (also known as a ‘possessory estate’. (If the right of possession does not exist, then other rights and interests are not available). • Easement: This does not give the right to possession. It is the right to do something on someone else’s land, or to suffer another doing something on your land. • Mortgage: • Adverse Possession: If after 20 years (12 years in SA) (find legislation / cases) of occupying another’s land,…...

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