Stack v Dowden [2007]

Facts

  • The defendant and her partner jointly purchased a house, with 65% of the funds coming from the partner’s savings, and 35% coming from a mortgage later paid off by the claimant. No declaration as to whether the house was to be held as joint tenants or on trust as tenants in common was made
  • The defendant and her partner split up after 19 years in the house, having had 4 children
  • The claimant left the his partner and children living in the house applied for an order for sale with equal division of the proceeds
  • The trial judge allowed an equal split and the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal to split the proceeds 65/35 defendant-claimant; claimant appeal

Issue

  • Following a sale order (if granted), how should the proceeds be divided?

Decision

  • Appeal dismissed, 65/35 retained

Reasoning

  • Wherever unstated, there is a presumption that a residential house held in joint names will be held as joint tenants with equal beneficial interest
  • This presumption may be rebutted, and was on the facts, as the tenants kept their financial affairs separate, so held the house in proportions equal to their purchase contributions
RELATED CASE  Pwllbach Colliery Co v Woodman [1915]

Posted in Land Law Revision Notes.

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