amin v others

08:57 22 October in News & Case Studies
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Amin v Amin and others

Chancery Division

reliance by the respondents; and (iv) the

belong beneficially to the respondents

20

12 October 2020

judge’s finding that the appellant made

and not to the appellant.

Nugee LJ

no financial contribution to the purchase

(2) The appellant contended that the

o

[2020] EWHC 2675 (Ch)

of the property was wrong.

property was 100% owned by her. The

Held: The appeal was dismissed.

respondents argued that it belonged

[2020] PLSCS 184

(1) In establishing a common

100% to them. There was no suggestion

intention constructive trust, the first

of a fallback case that it was jointly

z

Joint ownership – Beneficial interests

question was whether there was a

owned. The essential question for the

– Appellant claiming possession of

common intention, either expressed or

judge was whether he accepted that the

property registered in sole name –

inferred. If that was established, there

respondents’ financial contributions and

Respondents obtaining declaration

had to be detrimental reliance on the

other factors were sufficient to displace

that property held on trust for them

common intention. The parties’ shares

the presumption that the appellant

– Appellant appealing – Whether judge

then had to be quantified. A common

was the sole beneficial as well as legal

c

failing to consider common intention of intention could be established either owner. Having decided that they were, parties – Whether sufficient detrimental on the basis of express discussions he did not have to consider precisely reliance by respondents – Appeal between the parties or the parties’ how or when the sons acquired their dismissed conduct, usually by contributions to interests, or what they were.

The appellant was the sole registered

the purchase price either initially or

(3) Detrimental reliance was a

freehold owner of 1 04 Gladstone Park

by payment of mortgage instalments:

requirement for a common intention

Gardens, London NW2. The appellant

Dobson v Griffey [2018] EWHC 1 117

constructive trust. Where a person

and the (now deceased) first respondent

(Ch) considered.

spent money on a property by way of

were never legally married under English

Where a family home was bought in

mortgage payments, it would be readily

law but, following a Muslim religious

the joint names of a cohabiting couple

inferred that they did so because they

ceremony, regarded themselves as

who were both responsible for any

were relying on an understanding that

husband and wife. They had four children

mortgage, but without any express

they had an interest in the property.

together, including the second and third

declaration of their beneficial interests,

Such expenditure would perform

respondent sons.

the presumption was that equity

the twofold function of establishing

They acquired the property, which was

followed the law and they were joint

the common intention and showing

in poor condition, in 1995 when it was

tenants both in law and in equity. That

that the appellant had acted on it. In

registered in their joint names. However,

presumption could be displaced by

the present case, there was sufficient

they did not move into it. The first

showing that the parties had a different

evidence to demonstrate that the judge

respondent, who was a builder, renovated

common intention to be deduced

thought that they had acted to their

the property and it was then rented out

objectively from their conduct. The

detriment in the belief that the property

to pay the mortgage.

relevant intention of each party was

belonged to them. Nothing more was

In 1999, the property was sold to

the intention which was reasonably

required: Grant v Edwards [1986] Ch 638

a cousin for fl 30,000. In 2005 it was

understood by the other party to be

considered.

transferred into the appellant’s sole

manifested by that party’s words and

(4) It would be unsafe and unfair

name for a purchase price of f249,000

conduct notwithstanding that he did

for the appeal court to overturn the

and the family lived there. In 2007,

not consciously formulate that intention

decision of the judge that the appellant

the appellant moved out. The first

in his own mind or even acted with

in fact made no financial contribution.

respondent remained living there with

some different intention which he did

It was for the appellant to demonstrate

the second and third respondents and

not communicate to the other party:

on appeal that the trial judge had erred

their families. In 2014, the appellant asked

Jones v Kernott [2012] 1 AC 776 applied.

in a factual conclusion. In general, that

the respondents to vacate the property as

Gissing v Gissing [1971] AC 886, Oxley v

could only be done by showing either

she wished to sell it.

Hiscock [2004] EWCA Civ 546 and Stack

that there was no evidence to support

The appellant started a claim for

v Dowden [2007] AC 432 considered.

his conclusion or that his decision was

possession but the respondents

In a sole name case, the presumption

one that no reasonable trial judge could

counterclaimed for a declaration that she

was that the sole legal owner was also

have come to. It was impossible to do

held the property on trust for them. The

the sole beneficial owner. In both joint

that without having regard to all the

county court upheld the counterclaim

and sole name cases, what was needed

evidence before him. It was impossible

and ordered the appellant to transfer the

to displace the presumption that

for an appellate court to recreate the

property to the respondents. The judge

equity followed the law was a common

atmosphere of a trial where the judge

also dismissed her claim for possession

intention that the beneficial ownership

had evidence before him, but the

and ordered her to pay costs.

should be something different from the

appellate court did not have the details

The appellant appealed contending

legal ownership. Each case would turn

of what that evidence was: Fage UK Ltd v

that: (i) the judge wrongly failed to

on its own facts. Financial contributions

Chobani UK Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ 5 and

consider whether there was a common

were relevant but there were many

Henderson v Foxworth Investments Ltd

intention as to the beneficial interest in

other factors which might enable the

[2014] UKSC 41 considered.

the property; (ii) the judge’s conclusion

court to decide what shares were either

that the second and third respondents

intended or fair. In this case, on the

Raj Arumugam (instructed by Hodders Solicitors) appeared for the appellant; Paul Oakley (instructed

should share in the beneficial interest was

evidence, the judge was entitled to

by S G Law Solicitors Ltd, of Ilford) appeared for the

perverse; (iii) the judge failed to consider

conclude that the common intention of

respondents.

whether there was sufficient detrimental

the parties was that the property should

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