Effect of assignment to husband and wife ‘as joint tenants’

In Hong Kong where property is assigned to a husband and wife ‘as joint tenants’ there is a rebuttable presumption that they hold as joint tenants in law and equity.

In Ho Nga Sheung v Ma Fook Leung ([1993] HKEC 37, SC) property was conveyed to husband and wife ‘as joint tenants’. All of the mortgage payments were made by H. H gave evidence to the effect that he intended his wife to have some interest in the property but not a half share. How should the proceeds of sale be distributed between them?

Godfrey J held that in Hong Kong where property is conveyed into the joint names of husband and wife there is a rebuttable presumption of advancement by husband to wife so that they hold as joint tenants in equity as well as at law. The result was that when the joint tenancy was severed the proceeds of sale would be divided equally between them.

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