Departing from the presumption in Stack

Where the co-owned land has been acquired as an investment (even by parties who are family members) either the Stack presumption does not apply or it can be readily departed from.

In Laskar v Laskar ([2008] EWCA Civ 347, CA (Eng)) a mother wanted to buy the property of which she was the tenant. She could not afford to do so alone and one of her daughters agreed to provide part of the price. The property was held by them as joint tenants at law. There were no discussions as to beneficial ownership and the parties accepted joint responsibility under the mortgage. The English Court of Appeal (Neuberger LJ giving the principal judgment) held that the parties were equitable tenants in common. The property had been bought as an investment even though the parties were mother and daughter. Either the Stack presumption did not apply or it was rebutted on the facts. The resulting trust approach was to be used; the daughter was entitled to one third and the mother was entitled to two thirds of the equity. The parties had accepted joint liability under the mortgage and so each was to be treated as having provided half of the mortgage advance. The property had been bought at a discount to which the mother was entitled as the former tenant of the local authority. This discount was to be treated as having been provided by the mother for the purposes of the resulting trust calculation.


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