Can anyone help with the scenario below. It's for a mock assessment so don't really know what questions are going to pop up. Iv read the scenario through and i know it relevant to property disputes between cohabiting couples; ownership/beneficial interest under trusts etc. But what i don't get is the bit where Emily takes over the mortgage, does this make her the legal owner of the property. And is it likely that she has an interest in the property. The scenario is as follows:
[I]Emily and Dave meet at University. After Dave secures employment following his degree they start looking for a house to buy. They hope eventually to get married. They find a house which they both like. Emily has no income at the time and has a poor credit rating due to a county court judgment against her. Dave provides the deposit. The house and the mortgage are both in his name and this is recorded on the Land Register.
Emily and Dave live together for nearly 10 years but never marry. Although the couple has a joint bank account, all the mortgage payments have been paid through a bank account in Dave’s name only. A few years later Emily used a large legacy to pay for an extension and other significant improvements to the property. The cost of these roughly matched Dave’s initial deposit and the total of his contributions to the mortgage.
Unfortunately the relationship breaks down. Dave decides to set up a new business venture abroad and leaves to live in Australia. Emily continues to live in the house for a further 10 years. She takes over payment of the mortgage. Over twenty years the value of the property has more than tripled in value, in part due to the property market and in part due to the improvements made to the property.
Dave makes no further contributions to the property. However, after the failure of his business abroad he returns to England. He tells Emma that he now wants his house back, and tells her she will have to leave.
Scenario 1 (continued)
Following Dave’s return from abroad he and Emily effect a reconciliation and with Emily’s agreement he moves back into the property. However, Dave has now become an alcoholic and on occasions he has used violence against Emily. On one occasion he grabs Emily by the throat and throws her against the wall. She has visible fingermarks around her neck. Dave is always apologetic after the incidents and promises to stop drinking. Emily initially perseveres with Dave’s behaviour as she feels sorry for him. Sadly Dave’s behaviour becomes more unpredictable. After one particular violent incident he throws her out of the house in the middle of the night.
As she is without close family and friends she is forced to sleep rough on the streets.[/]