Northern Ireland Ss Essay

Northern Ireland Ss Essay-37
Any type of an estate in land can be divided into two general categories, these are ‘freehold’ and ‘leasehold,’ both of which derive from feudal law and are capable of creating differing types of entitlement, the major difference in the two is the tenet of seisin which, although there is no clear explanation it relates to the link between tenure and estate but encompasses ideas of responsibility and ownership in that may people can have an interest in land but only one will own it.The former of these two categories will be broken down into its three main types, namely, fee simple, fee tail and life estate1 before exploring the extent that it is possible to claim ownership of a freehold estate.In this case the proper words of limitation were not used whilst transferring a fee farm grant, initially the proper phrasing was ‘to X and his heirs’.

Any type of an estate in land can be divided into two general categories, these are ‘freehold’ and ‘leasehold,’ both of which derive from feudal law and are capable of creating differing types of entitlement, the major difference in the two is the tenet of seisin which, although there is no clear explanation it relates to the link between tenure and estate but encompasses ideas of responsibility and ownership in that may people can have an interest in land but only one will own it.

It was introduced to Ireland during, and in the centuries after the Norman Conquest.4 The conquest in itself resulted in all land ultimately vesting in the King and being governed through the concepts of tenure and estate5 and for this fact alone it would easy to agree wit the above assertion.

During Ireland’s early history under Norman rule, the feudal system of tenure ‘became not only a system of landholding, but also a system of government and provision of revenue.’6 The tenure system involved a process of grants and sub grants and further sub sub grants, also know as subinfuedation, in return for services such as tenures in ‘chivalry,’ ‘socage’ and ‘Frankalmoign.’7 Therefore, in this way, ‘tenure’ can be seen as the circumstances upon which the land is held and ‘estate’ as the length of time you may hold land for.8 Consequently therefore it is only possible to own an estate or interest in land.9 ‘The land itself is one thing, and the estate in the land is another thing, for an estate in the land is a time in the land, or land for a time, and there are diversities of estates, which are no more than diversities of time.’10 This form of land granting created a type of ‘pyramid’ structure with the King at its peak in complete ownership and all land being held for, or off him by his tenants in chief who then in turn sub granted to others11.

As feudal tenure died out18 this meant ultimately it reverted to the Crown.

Currently under s 16 of the Administration of Estates Act (NI) 195519 Escheat has been replaced by the concept of bona vacantia20 in intestate issues where there are no successors making Crown reversion statute based.

Also if we contrast the idea of fee simple absolute in possession and restrictions on ownership through the use of restrictive covenants that by their nature run with the land it may be easier to understand how it affects ownership, for example a church land grant that stipulates that the land or buildings cannot be used for the sale of alcohol or a covenant that restricts the sale of tobacco as in the facts of Craigdarragh Trading Co Ltd v Doherty15 which dealt with the lack of written permission when assigning a leasehold interest.

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There are also covenants that restrict the ability to sublet part of a lease which was the question under consideration in Northern Carriers Ltd v Larne Harbour16 and the practice of perpetual rent For example, leasehold tenure included the practice of collecting ‘ground rents’ in respect of dwellings.This is exemplified by the continuing existence in NI of certain hybrid forms of title and tenure such as ‘fee farm grants’ prohibited under the Quia Emptores 1290 which also allowed possessors of ‘free and common socage’ to grant or lease land without having to acquire the landlord’s permission.23 Also ‘leases for lives renewable forever,’ the latter were converted into fee farm grants under the Renewable Leasehold Conversion Act 1849.The fee farm grant was in essence a fee simple but with conditions, namely a payment by the grantee and his descendants of a perpetual rent to the landlord and his descendants that created a type of feudal tenure between the landlord and the grantee and his descendants24.When this in fact happened the Court looked at the subject of uncertainty and held that because of well recognised statute dealing with matters of faith and established precedents in wills and settlements it could not avoid on this ground33.Re Moore is an example of a conditional fee simple void for reasons of public policy; in this case the testator’s sister was to receive money while she continued to live ‘apart from her husband this was held to be contrary to public policy on issues of marriage.34’ A determinable fee simple occurs where a grantee receives an equitable estate until the determinable event occurs at which time it reverts back to the grantor immediately.It is important to note that this was curtailed in the Republic of Ireland by the Landlord and Tennant (Ground Rents) Act 1978 and in Northern Ireland by the Property (NI) order 199717 As well as the obligations of service created under freehold tenure there were rights created that impacted on ownership such as ‘homage’ which included court attendance as well as an oath of fealty and ‘Wardship’, which allowed the lord to be financially compensated when the heir, for whom the land was held, reached his majority and took possession of the land.Another landlord right created under tenure was the doctrine of ‘Escheat’ which, occurred when a tenant died without an heir the land reverted to the immediate lord above him in the pyramid arrangement.Freehold is said to be the; ‘permanent ownership of land or property with the freedom to sell it when you wish,’2 although as we shall see this is subject to conditions.A freehold estate is a type of estate created under feudal law and the feudal system of tenure which eventually replaced the native Irish Brehon law3.This does not invalidate the land gift nor does it mean that the gift is given back automatically if a condition is carried out.It will be legal unless the condition is uncertain or against public policy.32 Blathwayt v Baron Cawley exemplifies the former; land was left to numerous people on the stipulation that they would loose their entitlement with it passing to the next in line if they became a Roman Catholic.

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