Principles of Land Law (in English)
by The Chinese University of Hong Kong
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to iTunes U collections.
These podcasts were prepared by Prof. Michael Lower for his teaching of the course SLW9602 - Principles of Land Law at CUHK in 2009 . It is a series of short talks giving listeners an understanding of the principal features of Hong Kong's system of land law. Although they are principally intended for an audience with some legal training it is hoped that they will be accessible to a general audience too. Land Law is essentially the study of the several forms of ownership rights (and other non-proprietary interests) in land. The podcasts will explain the legal understanding of 'land' and the sorts of interest in land that can be acquired and the way that these interests can be acquired. They explain who 'wins' when there are conflicting claims in respect of the same piece of land. The series look at how interests in land are created and how they can be given away, sold, brought to an end and so on.
||Lecture 11 - Mortgages (Audio)||This podcast, the last in the series, is about mortgages. It explains the essential characteristics of the mortgage and the rights that it confers on the lender (the mortgagee). The podcast explains that equity has intervened to strike down terms in mortgages that are oppressive or unconscionable or that would interfere excessively with the borrower's right to redeem the mortgage. It looks at the main rights that mortgages give lenders and contains a reminder about the importance of registering a mortgage.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Lecture 10 - Lease Covenants (Audio)||This week's podcast is about the enforceability of the covenants contained in a lease. The original landlord and tenant are liable to each other because they have made a contract with each other. The landlord can assign its interest in the land (its reversion) and the tenant assign its lease. This podcast will explain that successors in title of the landlord and the tenant also get the benefit and burden of those lease covenants that relate to land. They are not subject to purely personal covenants given by the original landlord or the original tenant. Sub-tenants, too, can get the benefit and burden of covenants in the headlease. The exception to this is that they are not subject to the burden of positive covenants in the headlease. Finally, the podcast gives a brief reminder of the remedies available for breach of a covenant contained in a lease.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Lecture 09 - Land Covenants (Audio)||This week's podcast is about land covenants. The most obvious example of a land covenant is the sort of covenant that you find in a Deed of Mutual Covenant governing an apartment block or complex (such as the covenant to pay the management charge or not to keep pets). This podcast looks at the legal mechanisms that are available to make sure that all of the owners are subject to the Deed of Mutual Covenant. The rules that we will look at apply more generally to all land covenants, not only those found in a Deed of Mutual Covenant.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Lecture 08 - Easements (Audio)||This podcast looks at the law concerning easements. Easements are rights over a parcel of land for the benefit of another nearby parcel of land. Examples include the right to walk or drive over someone else's land to get to and from your own and the right to run gas or water pipes or electrical cables over someone else's land. This podcast will explain the essential legal requirements for the creation of an easement and how they can be brought to an end.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Lecture 07 - Co-ownership (Audio)||This week's podcast looks at the law on co-ownership. An interest in land is often owned by several people together. For example, a flat might be co-owned by a husband and wife. The members of a business partnership might co-own land used by or for the business. Hong Kong apartment complexes are co-owned by all the flat-owners. Co-ownership can either take the form of a joint tenancy or of a tenancy in common. This podcast explains these forms of co-ownership and the differences between them. It also looks at the process by which a joint tenancy can be turned into a tenancy in common. This is known as severance. Finally, it looks at the rights of co-owners to apply for partition of the co-owned land. Partition involves the legal division of the land into smaller physical areas. The courts can also be asked to order the sale of co-owned land and the division of the proceeds of sale between the co-owners.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Lecture 06 - Adverse Possession (Audio)||This podcast looks at the law on adverse possession. A squatter who takes possession of someone else's land acquires some kind of ownership interest in it. If the squatter stays in possession for long enough then he can defeat a claim for possession by the formal owner of the land. This podcast outlines the law in this area. It explains what is needed for an adverse possession claim to succeed. It considers the idea of possession.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Lecture 05 - Licenses (Audio)||This week's podcast looks at the licence. The bare licence is a simple permission to be on someone else's land. It can be revoked at any time and does not bind other people who have or acquire an interest in the land. The contractual licence, by contrast, might give more extensive rights than the bare licence (as the podcast explains). In some exceptional cases, even third parties may have to respect a licence. The podcast closes by looking at cases where licensees might have a more substantial interest in the land under the doctrine of proprietary estoppel.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Lecture 04 - Priorities and registration (Audio)||This podcast looks at the rules governing the priority enjoyed by different interests in the same physical piece of land. It looks at Hong Kong's system of land registration and the changes that the Land Titles Ordinance will introduce.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Lecture 03 - Formalities (Audio)||This podcast explains the formalities laid down by Hong Kong Land Law for the creation and transfer of interests in land. It explains why formalities are useful and some exceptional cases when transactions can be valid despite a failure to comply with relevant formalities.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Lecture 02 - Leases (Audio)||This podcast explains the essential characteristics that distinguish the lease from the licence. The lease is both a type of contract and an interest in land and it is not always clear which of these two characteristics is more important. The possible clash between the two is exemplified by considering whether the doctrine of frustration applies to leases and by an explanation of the controversial decision in Bruton v London and Quadrant Housing Trust. The podcast explains how leases are classified and how they are created. It outlines the possible remedies available to landlords for a tenant's breach of covenant.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Lecture 01 - Land Law Fundamentals (Audio)||This podcast explains that Land Law studies the possible legal interests in land. There may be several different interests in the same piece of land at the same time and so Land law has to explain how these interests interact and how conflicts between them are resolved. The podcast explains: 1. fundamental concepts such as the distinction between legal and equitable interests in land; 2. the sources of Hong Kong Land Law; and 3. what is included in the definition of 'land'.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Introductory Podcast (Audio)||This introductory podcast explains how Land Law will be taught on the CUHK JD / LL.M. programme in 2009 / 2010.||8/5/10||Free||View In iTunes|