Property Rights include rights derived from having title in property, also known as being the freehold or leasehold owner, rights deriving from being a Landlord or Tenant, rights over property known as covenants and easements, rights due to other interests in land such as mortgages and charges, trusts, licences or being in occupation or use.
Title in Property
Having title in property is the legal terminology for ownership. The Land Registry registers owners of land and guarantees the information is correct. If an owner’s name does not appear on the Land Registry’s Title Register an owner may bring a claim to correct the register and therefore demonstrate legal ownership of the land. The Land Registry for England and Wales registers both freehold (unlimited) ownership and long leasehold ownership of property.
Landlord and Tenant
For more information on rights deriving from being a landlord or tenant please see our landlord and tenant page.
Covenants and Easements
Covenants are legally enforceable promises to do or not do an act. An easement is a specific right over land such as the right to access over the land, the right to light or the right to run services over land such as electric cables or water pipes.
Easements can be granted by the landowner by agreement or purchased. In limited circumstances easements can also be granted by the courts, such as in circumstances concerning the inability to use landlocked property or the inability to use the property for the purpose for which it was intended.
Mortgages & Charges
Mortgages are an interest in land. The interest of the mortgagee is put in abeyance subject to complying with the terms of the mortgage such as payment of mortgage instalments. Further details of mortgage repossession matters can be found on our mortgagee repossessions page.
Charges are interests in land or interests in owner’s equity in the land or property. Charges are usually used for the purposes of securing debts against property with the potential view of obtaining a forced sale of the property in order to release the owner’s equity to pay the debt. Further details can be found on our enforcement page.
The joint owners of property hold each other’s interests on trust for one another. For more information concerning claims involving trust property, please see our claims for and interest/ownership in property page.
Licences or Occupation
Licences are a right to use land or property and usually do not involve the licensee having exclusive occupation of the land or property.
Unless occupants have a legal basis for their occupation such as rights as a tenant or family member, their occupation will be unlawful. Unlawful occupation is usually called squatting or trespassing. For more information on unlawful occupation of property or land please see our squatters/trespassers page. For a recent authority on assessing damages for trespass, see our recent article in our news section.
Landowners or occupants can be subjected to situations which affect their enjoyment of their land such as overhanging tree, unpleasant smells, noise and water ingress. These situations, which usually involve neighbours, are referred to in legal terms as nuisance. Property nuisance can provide an owner or occupant with a remedy when they have no other legal relationship with the person causing the nuisance.