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Stack v Dowden [2007]


  • 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


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


  • Appeal dismissed, 65/35 retained


  • 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
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