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Consequences Of Co Ownership Notes

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This is an extract of our Consequences Of Co Ownership document, which we sell as part of our GDL Land Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students.

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The law of severance allows the parties to break out of JT to become TiC
o This is usually to escape survivorship as you do not want the other parties to get your interest

Cannot sever by will, must sever before death (Gould v
Most cases are a dispute over whether a severance has occurred

There is a sense in such cases that the joint tenancy is unfair
(Williams v Hensman and Burgess v Rawnsley)
o In these cases, they repeat the idea that the law favours the certainty of a joint tenancy, but equity favours the fairness of a tenancy in common
Common Law Severence:
o Williams v Hensman (1861)- a deceased's estate was invested in a mortgage fund and co-owned by children as JTs.
Some of children died: if joint tenancy then goes to the survivours; if TiC then goes to the dead children's estates.
o Per Page-Wood VC, three ways to sever:
 Act On Your Own Share
 Mutual Agreement
 Mutual Conduct

[Also now:]
 Statutory Severance (s. 36 (2) of LPA) and
 Severence by Unlawful Killing (Crippen)
1) Statutory Severance under s.36(2) LPA
o Written notice sent to the written address of the property that is the subject of the severance (s.196 LPA 1925)
o It needs to be delivered, but not necessarily read (Re 88
Berkley Road)
o Once served, a notice to sever cannot be revoked
 Kinch v Bullard (1998) - wife thinking husband would pre-decease her destroyed the letter severing tenancy.
Held that this was still effective.
o Unclear what 'written' requires (does email count?)
o A will is not sufficient, but muitual wills are (Williams v
o The written notice does not need to be formal - any written communication which indicates an immediate intention to sever will count
 Smith v Davis (solicitors correspondence re divorce)
 Quigley v Masterson (letter in relation to Court of
o But this intention must be immediate
 A divorce petition alone does not convey immediate intention: Harris v Goddard.

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