Matharu v Matharu

In Matharu v Matharu ((1994) 26 H.L.R. 648, CA (Eng)) a father owned a house and allowed his son and daughter-in-law to use it as their family home. The daughter-in-law mistakenly believed that the house belonged to her husband and her parents-in-law had encouraged that belief. The son died and the father sought possession of the house. The English Court of Appeal was satisfied that there was an assurance (encouraging the wife’s mistaken belief) and that there was detrimental reliance on her part. She had never been encouraged to believe that she had or would acquire any interest in the property. The relief that would remedy the father-in-law’s unconscionable behaviour was that the order for possession should be deferred. She was granted a licence for her life or for as long as she wished to live at the property. She was to meet all of the outgoings.

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