Weekly review: 24th – 28th October

Conveyancing: when the owner of an encumbrance cannot be found

Section 12A of the Conveyancing and Property Ordinance lays down the procedure to be followed when the owner of an encumbrance cannot be found. This mechanism was used in Cheung Ting (or Teng) Fan (or Fun) Tso.

Proprietary estoppel: contracts

Proprietary estoppel can be available in respect of assurances that were omitted from a written agreement even if a contract embodying the promise would have had to comply with formalities such as section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989. Especially in commercial settings (where the parties have access to legal advice) failure to include an alleged promise in the written agreement is an indicator that it had not been given or was not to be relied upon (Whittaker v Kinnear).

Proprietary estoppel: licence coupled with an equity

A father had encouraged a son to build a bungalow on the father’s land and the son was encouraged to believe that he could live there for the rest of his life. The son had a licence of the property for the rest of his life binding on his father’s successors (Inwards v Baker).

Proprietary estoppel: no relief where the reliance was unlawful

Chalmers v Pardoe  illustrates that there is no proprietary estoppel where the detrimental reliance constituted an unlawful act.

Proprietary estoppel: relief

The relief should not exceed the expectation (Baker v Baker).

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