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Sledmore v Dalby [1996]

Facts

  • The Sledmores owned a house, and represented to his son and daughter-in-law (The Dalbys) that the house would belong to them
  • The Dalbys expended money improving the house, and lived in the house rent-free for many years
  • Following Mr Sledmore’s death, Mrs Sledmore sought sole possession of the house

Issue

  • Could Mrs Sledmore be estopped from acquiring sole possession?

Decision

  • No

Reasoning

  • Although an equity by way of proprietary estoppel had been established, its value had been exhausted by the free accommodation provided
  • Mrs Sledmore’s dire financial situation and the Dalbys’ rare use of the house could be taken into consideration
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