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Land LawText, Cases and Materials

Land Law: Text, Cases and Materials (5th edn)

Ben McFarlane, Nicholas Hopkins, and Sarah Nield
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date: 03 June 2023

p. 43512. Interests in the Home: The Acquisition Questionlocked

p. 43512. Interests in the Home: The Acquisition Questionlocked

  • Ben McFarlane,
  • Nicholas Hopkins
  •  and Sarah Nield


All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter explores the acquisition question in relation to the family home through an analysis of the doctrines of resulting and constructive trusts. The chapter explains the different initial presumptions drawn in cases of joint and sole legal ownership and the particular approach that has been adopted in the case of a home purchased ‘in joint names for joint occupation by a married or unmarried couple, where both are responsible for any mortgage’. The chapter considers how the ‘common intention’ of parties in relation to the common intention constructive trust is determined differently in relation to the primary acquisition question (in cases of sole legal ownership) and the secondary question of the quantification of beneficial shares (applicable in cases of joint and sole beneficial ownership). The chapter addresses the contentious issue of the extent to which the courts’ broader approach to common intention in relation to quantification may be carried over to the primary acquisition question. The chapter considers statutory rights to occupy and current Law Commission proposals for reform.

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