Common intention constructive trust – abandonment after Jones v Kernott

In Quintance v Tandan ([2012] EWHC 4416 (Ch)) a co-habiting couple bought a property in joint names. They agreed to hold it on trust for themselves as beneficial tenants in common in equal shares. Q made no contribution to the purchase price (though he was a party to the mortgage). Within weeks of acquisition of the property, Q abandoned T. T made all the payments as she had already been doing up until then). When the property was sold, Q claimed that he was entitled to half of the net proceeds of sale. This claim failed. The approach taken in Jones v Kernott was applied. Q’s conduct showed an agreement to abandon his half share. This could be expressed either as a variation of the original agreement inferred from post-acquisition conduct or as the fair outcome where there was no evidence that the parties had formulated any actual intention ([17] per HH Judge Waksman QC)). The question of fairness is fact-sensitive ([19]).

Michael Lower

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