Book Reviews

Modern Land Law

Publisher: Routledge Law

Author: Martin Dixon

Price: 32.99

Edition: 9th Edition (March 2014)

ISBN: 978-0-415-73234-5

Buy from Routledge Law: Click Here

Land law is perhaps one of the most important topics a student will learn at undergraduate level; its principles often form the basis for other areas of law.  For example, the law of assignment (and its rules in Section 136 of the Law of Property Act 1925) apply to all types of commercial relationships.  Similarly, landlord and tenant law has important implications for compulsory purchase law (particularly when considering the value of land affected by a tenancy).  It is therefore important that students studying land law fully understand this topic if they are keen for a career as a lawyer or in business.  To help those students comes Martin Dixon's Modern Land Law which aims to offer a lively and thought-provoking account of this important area of law.

Written by an experienced land law academic, Modern Land Law is split into eleven chapters: an introduction to modern land law; registered land; unregistered land; co-ownership; successive interest in land; leases; the law of easements; freehold covenants; licences and proprietary estoppel; the law of mortgages; and adverse possession.  It also comes with a companion website.  This includes, for each chapter, an essay question, a true/false quiz, a statute quiz, a case-law quiz, short answers quiz and podcasts.  These are really great features and allow the reader to quickly check their understanding of the material.

Dixon's approach is clearly set out in the preface: to explode the myths and mysteries of land law and substitute instead a picture of that is both detailed and comprehensible.  This is an ambitious aim and is largely achieved.  For example, the explanation of forfeiture of leases distils what is a fairly complicated area to advise upon into a comprehensible, yet detailed, analysis.  Two minor improvements for future editions: (a) to mention the FCA's Mortgages and Home Finance: Conduct of Business sourcebook (otherwise known as MCOB) and (b) to make it clearer that the unfair relationship provisions in Sections 140A to 140C of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 were only introduced by the Consumer Credit Act 2006 (as the later Act was effectively an amending piece of legislation).

If you are looking for an accessible, clear and comprehensive explanation of modern land law, then you should seriously consider Martin Dixon's Modern Land Law.  It refreshingly considers the law in a straight-forward and accessible way while, at the same time, avoiding over-simplifying the law.  The end of chapter summaries, included in most chapters, also provide a very useful starting point before undertaking detailed research.  Dixon usefully also includes a (relatively) short list of further research materials for those looking for further analysis of the law.  At just under 33, it is also (like many of Routledge's texts) competitively priced.

Reviewed on 24 May 2015

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