Evidence of a common intention

In Thomson v Humphrey ([2009] EWHC 3576) T and H co-habited in property belonging to H (Church Farm). He had previously bought a home for T and her children to live in (Long Stratton). This too had been in H’s name and had been sold, H retaining the proceeds of sale. When the relationship broke up, T claimed a beneficial interest in Church Farm. She failed. The court applied the approach in Lloyds Bank v Rosset as explained in Stack v Dowden. There was no evidence of an express agreement. Indeed, H had instructed his solicitor to prepare a cohabitation agreement that made it clear that H retained sole ownership of the property. This had been carefully explained to T. She had not signed it and H had continued to live with her but the court did not think that an agreement could be inferred from this. Nor had she incurred any detrimental reliance. There was no evidence that she was worse off than if she had not co-habited with T (though, of course, she would have made different arrangements).

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