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Co-Ownership Question / Land Law .. where to start? watch

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    Hi,

    I'm having trouble even knowing where to begin on how to approach a co-ownership question I was given in land law ... would it be possible for anyone to direct where to start with tackling the question, maybe some important case law hints? I have to advise Nancy in this scenario:

    In 2002 Mitch and Nancy bought No. 47 Broadacres as their matrimonial home. It is a five bedroom house. Seventy five percent of the purchase price was provided by Nancy from an inheritance which was given to Nancy on the death of a relative. The remainder of the purchase price was contributed by Mitch’s father, Oliver. It was agreed by all of them that Oliver would live with them for the rest of his life. Title was registered in all three of their names as beneficial joint tenants. Mitch and Nancy had one son at that time, who was born in 1994. In 2005 Oliver moved his girlfriend, Poppy, into the house. Unknown to either Mitch or Nancy, Oliver executed a deed in 2005 transferring all his interest in Broadacres to Poppy.
    In 2006 Mitch and Nancy had many arguments and in January 2007 Nancy went to see a solicitor. The solicitor advised that she should send a letter to Mitch and Oliver stating that she wanted to sell the house and the proceeds divided between them all. He gave a letter to her to this effect which she signed and posted to Mitch and Oliver on her way home. That night she discovered she was pregnant by Mitch. Mitch was away on business, so she rang his mobile telephone to express her undying love for him, explained what was in the letter and that she no longer wanted the house to be sold. When the letter arrived the next morning, she destroyed it.
    Mitch was angry about the letter and the next day, he mortgaged No. 47 to Quickcash Ltd to secure a loan for the purposes of his business. He forged the signatures of Nancy and his father on the mortgage deed. He also made a will leaving all his property to his girlfriend, Rachel.
    Last year Mitch’s business collapsed and he owed a great deal of money to various people. In September 2009 Mitch was murdered by a business associate to whom he owed money. In October 2009, Oliver died of grief at the loss of Mitch.
    Advise Nancy who has just learnt of the existence of the deed to Poppy. Poppy is now claiming a right to live in Broadacres. Rachel, who is now very wealthy having married a rich businessman, has come forward to claim her interest in Broadacres. In addition, Nancy has received a letter from Quickcash stating that they intend to take possession of No. 47 in order for it to be sold. This is the first time she knew anything about Rachel or the mortgage to Quickcash. She gave birth to a baby in 2007 who has a serious disability. The property is worth £600,000 and the outstanding balance owed to Quickcash is £450,000.


    Many thanks.
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    Well, you are dealing with registered land - so read your chapter on that.
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    The best approach is to go through these questions chronologically.

    Work out what the equitable interests are at the start, then go through each event in turn to see if anything changes. Once you've worked through each event, you'll have your answer.

    An appropriate plan might be:

    1) Interests at start? Equitable JTs
    2) Effect of the deed - severance? If so, the property will be held 50% Penelope, 25% Michael, 25% Kin under a tenancy in common
    3) Effect of the mortgage - clearly Michael can mortgage his share; does the mortgage of the entire house with forged signatures make a difference?
    4) Now state the position you have reached. i.e. who owns how much of the property, and how much of the property LazyCash has security over, and, if the question asks, how likely it is that any party who wants a sale will be granted a sale under TOLATA

    Post if you have any issues with any specific stages of your answer


    This exact question has been posted, albeit with the parties having different names, a few times over the last few days - its worth having a look through the last few pages of this forum
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    (Original post by ffxffx)
    Hi,

    I'm having trouble even knowing where to begin on how to approach a co-ownership question I was given in land law ... would it be possible for anyone to direct where to start with tackling the question, maybe some important case law hints? I have to advise Nancy in this scenario:

    In 2002 Mitch and Nancy bought No. 47 Broadacres as their matrimonial home. It is a five bedroom house. Seventy five percent of the purchase price was provided by Nancy from an inheritance which was given to Nancy on the death of a relative. The remainder of the purchase price was contributed by Mitch’s father, Oliver. It was agreed by all of them that Oliver would live with them for the rest of his life. Title was registered in all three of their names as beneficial joint tenants. Mitch and Nancy had one son at that time, who was born in 1994. In 2005 Oliver moved his girlfriend, Poppy, into the house. Unknown to either Mitch or Nancy, Oliver executed a deed in 2005 transferring all his interest in Broadacres to Poppy.
    In 2006 Mitch and Nancy had many arguments and in January 2007 Nancy went to see a solicitor. The solicitor advised that she should send a letter to Mitch and Oliver stating that she wanted to sell the house and the proceeds divided between them all. He gave a letter to her to this effect which she signed and posted to Mitch and Oliver on her way home. That night she discovered she was pregnant by Mitch. Mitch was away on business, so she rang his mobile telephone to express her undying love for him, explained what was in the letter and that she no longer wanted the house to be sold. When the letter arrived the next morning, she destroyed it.Mitch was angry about the letter and the next day, he mortgaged No. 47 to Quickcash Ltd to secure a loan for the purposes of his business. He forged the signatures of Nancy and his father on the mortgage deed. He also made a will leaving all his property to his girlfriend, Rachel.

    Last year Mitch’s business collapsed and he owed a great deal of money to various people. In September 2009 Mitch was murdered by a business associate to whom he owed money. In October 2009, Oliver died of grief at the loss of Mitch.

    Advise Nancy who has just learnt of the existence of the deed to Poppy. Poppy is now claiming a right to live in Broadacres. Rachel, who is now very wealthy having married a rich businessman, has come forward to claim her interest in Broadacres. In addition, Nancy has received a letter from Quickcash stating that they intend to take possession of No. 47 in order for it to be sold. This is the first time she knew anything about Rachel or the mortgage to Quickcash. She gave birth to a baby in 2007 who has a serious disability. The property is worth £600,000 and the outstanding balance owed to Quickcash is £450,000.


    Many thanks.
    My 2 cents for what its worth:

    1. Maybe mention AG Securities v Vaughan - 4 unities must be present for there to be a joint tenancy, Possession, Time, Title and Interest.

    2. I think Mitch and Nancy hold the legal interest of the joint tenancy and Mitch Nancy and Oliver hold the equitable interest in the joint tenancy.

    3. Should imagine that amount to severance. Mitch and Nanacy hold 2/3rds of the equitable interest and Poppy 1/3.

    4.Sounds extremely similar to Kinch v Bullard, it was held that sending it via post will amount to severance even if the person didn't recieve the letter and it was destroyed. As Nancy and Mitch are the only legal joint tenants if one of them severs then they suddently become Tenants in common, they own an individual share of the property, in this case 50% each and can do what they want with it, survivorship no longer operates.

    5. Fraud, see Re: Leighton's Conveyance, the wife can seek rectification of the the land registration so that her name can be put back on the registration.

    6. Now its a tenancy in common Rachel is entitled to his share of the equitable interest via intestacy - the will.

    7. Well both are dead which leaves Nancy as the sole legal owner of the property now.

    8. look at priority of interest, the mortgage was taken out first before he left it to Rachel. Perhaps the mortgage company takes priority of the interest and thus they would be able to sell off half the equitable interest valued at $300,000 but unable to recover the remaining £150,000.

    9. Poppy has interest due to Olivers deed. Find out whether she can live there with an equitable interest as a tenant in common??

    not sure some pointers anyway.
 
 
 
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