An express declaration as to the nature of a co-ownership is conclusive

If a deed (such as a conveyance) contains an express declaration as to whether a co-ownership is a joint tenancy or a tenancy in common then this declaration is conclusive. The severance of a joint tenancy leads to each joint tenant having an equal share as tenant in common.

In Goodman v Gallant ([1986] 2 WLR 236, [1986] 1 All ER 311, CA (Eng)) Goodman and Gallant were co-habitees. Their home had been conveyed into their joint names and the conveyance expressly provided that they were to hold as beneficial joint tenants. The Court of Appeal, Slade LJ giving the leading judgment, held that the express declaration was conclusive and that (in the absence of express words to the contrary in the conveyance) when a joint tenancy is severed the result is that the joint tenants hold as tenants in common in equal shares. The judgment of Slade LJ shows that there had been considerable doubt as to the correct law on each of these fundamentally important issues.

One Response to “An express declaration as to the nature of a co-ownership is conclusive”

  1. mulilo cetshwayo Says:

    This case has been really helpful to me as a student.thank you

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