No proprietary estoppel where weak evidence of promise

Yiu Lin Tei v Lui Pui Lan ([2011] HKEC 1154) concerned a claim by a mistress that she had an equitable interest in property owned by the estate of the deceased that had been their family home. She alleged that he had promised to transfer the ownership of the property to her and that she had acted detrimentally on the expectation created by that promise. The court decided, on the balance of probabilities that there had been no promise. This was fatal to the proprietary estoppel claim. The plaintiff also claimed that there was an agreement to transfer the property to her made enforceable by part performance. The court decided that there had probably not been an oral agreement.

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