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Co Ownership Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Land Law Notes

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A more recent version of these Co Ownership notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Land Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Co-Ownership _______________________________________________________

General Principles Tension between legal certainty & the use of land (emotional value) Two types of co-ownership:
- Successive interests/consecutive co-ownership - 'law of settled land'
- Concurrent interests/co-ownership

Joint Tenants & Tenants in Common Joint tenants:
- 1 title (single entity)
- No proportional 'share' o Gould v Kemp - attempt to leave 'share' in will was deemed impossible o Input to purchase price is irrelevant
- Right of survivorship o Re Caines - a co-owner's will is irrelevant if they are joint tenants
- Four unities are essential: o Possession: entitled to possess all of the land/ possess the fruits of the land o Interest: they must have either a freehold or leasehold for the same duration o Title: they must derive title from the same document (preregisteration title could have been fragmented)
? Leasehold: signing the same lease will usually indicate unity of title
? Antionades v Villiers - landlord got a couple trying to rent 1 bedroom flat to sign different leases on different days. HL held that it was illusory to suggest they were separate titleholders o Time: JT' interests must start & end on same day
? This is a real difference in time, not a formal difference
? HSBC v Dyche - different times Tenants in common:
- Undivided share in land
- Unity of possession must be present; other unities may be present


No right of survivorship May be the result of severance of a joint tenancy

LPA 1926 and TOLATA have historical significance: they were trying to encourage conveyancing & alienability to break up monopolies; big success in sharing out land ownership

Trusts of Land Legal title:
- ONLY ever as JT S.1(6) LPA
- Max 4 trustees S.34(2) Trustees Act 1925 who must be o Sui juris o Over 18
- All 4 unities exist Equitable title (see 'Trusts of the Family Home' doc for the acquisition/quantification of equitable property rights)
- May be JT or TIC
- No age or sui juris
- No limit on number of beneficiaries
- Does not have to be written on the transfer deed Determining whether equitable title is held as JT or TIC:
- If the interests of title, time & interest are not present = TIC o Common through increased use of constructive & resulting trusts (Stack v Dowden)
- If there is an express declaration in writing (S.53(1)(b) LPA) on the conveyance as to the nature of the equitable holding it will be conclusive (Goodman v Gallant) - Land Registry's Form JO (but not compulsorycriticism from Lady Hale in Stack) o Pankhania v Chandegra - there is no room for resulting/constructive trusts where there is express declaration o Roy v Roy - unequal contributions as to purchase price not relevant o Proprietary estoppel may function against an express declaration Clarke v Meadus (See 'Licences & Proprietary Estoppel' doc) o Contractual doctrines vitiating consent will operate
- Words of severance are used o "in equal shares" Payne v Webb o "to be divided between" Fisher v Wigg o "equally" can mean either - but the presumption that equity follows the law may be determinative in the absence of other evidence
- No express declaration or words of severance? Equity follows the law EXCEPT where the following counter-presumptions apply: o Where court of equity finds right of survivorship inappropriate:

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