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Land licences for the use and occupation of land cut across many areas of property and business practice, including diverse activities such as mineral extraction, franchises, licences to build, grasskeeps, and residential and social housing. However, the rules surrounding their drafting are complex and the outcome of drafting can be unpredictable.Land Licences
is the only work to deal exclusively with licences relating to the use and occupation of land and will seek to answer many of the key questions relevant to the drafting and granting of proprietary licences, including:
- What is the true nature of the rights granted?
- What rights does the licensee have against third parties?
- In what circumstances can a licence be inferred so as to prevent adverse rights arising?
- How may the licence be terminated and what are the parties' rights and obligations that arise from that?
- When and in what circumstances can the licence be assigned?
- How can the licence be terminated?
- What rights/obligations are implied into proprietary licences?
- The tax consequences of licences?
A CD-ROM accompanies the work and contains draft notices and pleadings for use and adaptation.
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes
Table of Statutory Instruments
- The Nature and Types of Licences
- Licences Distinguished from Other Rights/Interests
- Creation of Licences
- Licences and Adverse Rights
- Occupation Licences
- User Licences
- The Licence Terms
- The Burden of the Licence
- The Benefit of the Licence
- The Parties’ Non-contractual Rights and Obligations
- Termination of Licences
- Post Termination
Statements of Case
The topic of land licences is one which, 100 years ago, would hardly have merited more than a couple of paragraphs in a book – even one about land law or contract law – and yet now it clearly justifies a whole book. The point is well made by considering how few of the cases in the Table of Cases in this book were decided before 1900; indeed, a remarkable proportion of the cases were decided within the past twenty-five years. Land licences represent a fast-growing topic.
It is also an interesting, difficult, and important topic. It is interesting because it covers an area which involves an overlap of various different areas of law, most notably two fundamental areas of law, land law and contract law, whose principles do not always easily lie together. This leads to fascinating problems, such as the relationship of licences with easements and profits, the extent to which rights and obligations can bind successors, licences in the context of construction contracts, and the effect of licences when entered into by members of the same family are but four familiar examples. Also, there is often the impact of a statutory provision to consider – eg sections of the Law of Property Act 1925, the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, the Limitation Act 1980, the Mobile Homes legislation, and some of the Housing Acts.
The topic is often difficult, not only for the same sort of reasons, but also because it represents a subject which often embraces other areas of law, which are themselves in a state of development: examples that spring to mind include proprietary estoppel and human rights (particularly article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights). There are a number of problems in relation to licences where there has been a sharp difference of judicial opinion – in addition to some of the topics already mentioned, there is the distinction between a licence and a tenancy, the effect of a lawful, or an unlawful, termination, equitable rights arising from licences, and the interrelationship of
licences and the acquiring of limitation rights.
Land licences comprise an important topic, because land plays a more and more important role in society, as is demonstrated by the ever-growing volume of litigation and legislation relating to the topic. Further, because of their traditionally essentially simple contractual nature, and because of the volume of legislation relating to tenancies, licences have been used over the past fifty years or so by landowners.
There is no doubt that a modern, authoritative, well-structured, comprehensive and readable book on land licences is required, and I am pleased to be able to say that John Sharples has written such a book. And the fact that it contains useful appendices shows that it is directed at practitioners, as well as to non-practising lawyers.
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury
Master of the Rolls
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