Real estate law


It's an American term, but many Britons are real estate owners, buyers, sellers and property developers, and real estate law significantly influences how individuals use their land. There is a plethora of legislation in England and Wales which confers both restrictions and protections on real estate which you may come across several times in life.

What is the law on real estate?

In England and Wales the real property laws generally refer to land law in a variety of estates such as:

  • Freehold and leasehold
  • Registered or unregistered land

The legislation regarding property is vast and at times obscure. Certain peculiarities have remained from Tudor times and still pose a real issue to land owners today.

Real property laws have a historic background, and were some of the first laws passed in England and Wales. Furthermore, real property laws have evolved hugely in the last 50 years alone, especially in residential lettings.

Depending on government housing schemes, the laws on rents have changed from being tenant-friendly to landlord-friendly every time a new act was passed. All this fluctuation has added a complexity to housing disputes as tenants and landlords may be unaware of their rights under real property laws.

Why do I need a solicitor?

As discussed, real estate has a rich historic background in Britain and real estate law relating to the acquisition and transfer of land has changed alongside various social reforms. Unfortunately this has resulted in a strange mixture of old laws harking back centuries, still in place today, and new changes which are brought in by current government.

This can present many problems, even for buying land, which is why you may need specialist solicitors who can aid you in acquiring or selling real estate.

Property disputes are handled in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Appearing before a tribunal
  • Settling face-to-face through mediation or negotiation

Either way, the intricacies of property issues makes legal assistance a necessity. Solicitors specialising in real property laws can aid both land owners and tenants alike, from the smallest of qualms to the largest estates.

Real estate law often crops up in family and inheritance disputes too, as real estate is, of course, a significant asset. Such disputes with close relatives or friends can often be distressing and full of unwanted pressure.

Not only will acquiring specialist legal assistance on such matters ensure that you protect what is rightfully yours and that you safeguard your assets, but it could ultimately help you settle disputes early and avoid litigation.

For more general information on property law, see our help page on land law.

Do you have a dispute concerning real estate law that you require legal assistance with? Contact Law can put you in touch with specialist property lawyers to help you whether you are buying or selling land, or dealing with land or property that belongs to another person’s estate. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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