Promissory estoppel and permanent licence to occupy family home

In Maharaj v Chand ([1986] 3 W.L.R. 440, PC) M and C were an unmarried co-habiting couple. M applied to the Fiji Housing Authority for a lease of land under a scheme intended to make land available for married couples and built a house on it. M told C that this was to be the family home. In reliance on this she gave up her flat and used her savings to meet household needs. M abandoned C and sought vacant possession of the property. C argued that M had given her a permanent licence of the property and that he was estopped from seeking vacant possession. M argued that such a licence would be illegal since it would be a dealing with the property without the consent required by s.12 of the Native Land Trust Act. The Privy Council found for C. She could rely on promissory estoppel to defend herself from the possession proceedings. While a constructive trust would have contravened section 12, the purely personal licence arrangement did not.

Michael Lower

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One Response to “Promissory estoppel and permanent licence to occupy family home”

  1. Estoppel | You Should Never Go back On Your Word Once Given Says:

    […] Estoppel Memory Aidestoppel by deed definedPromissory Estoppel CasesEstoppel arguments fail once again in an oil and gas lease caseThursday 26th April 2012Promissory estoppel and proprietary estoppel. Both neededEstate Claims for Proprietary Estoppel: Spadafora v. GabrielePromissory Estoppel & Contract ClaimsCOVA–LAZANO v.DERWINSKI–ESTOPPELPromissory estoppel and permanent licence to occupy family home […]

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