As already seen (in 1.5 above), freehold (fee simple absolute in possession) and leasehold are currently the only estates in land which can be legal. A lease was originally a contract for the occupation of land, and it was only in the sixteenth century that leases were recognised as ‘interests in land’ so that the rights and duties of the parties were no longer merely contractual, but became glued to the land. However, much of the law of leases is still contract law, with statutory additions.
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