Johnson is the sole registered proprietor of 5 Pilchard Way, a semi-detached house. He purchased the property by way of a mortgage. He lived there alone for several years, before meeting Patsy, with whom he embarked upon a whirlwind romance. Johnson decided to ask Patsy to move in with him. Patsy agreed. They decided that they should make the house ‘their’ space, by re-decorating it from top to bottom. This included not only painting all of the rooms in soft pastel colours, but also installing a breakfast bar in the kitchen (Johnson and Patsy originally met over breakfast in a swish Bloomsbury café).
At that time, Johnson worked as a lecturer. Patsy, having recently finished her PhD, was trying to get an academic job. This meant that, whilst Johnson paid for the paint and materials to build the breakfast bar, it was Patsy who actually did all of the painting, and built the bar in the kitchen. Impressed with the work Patsy had done, Johnson told her, ‘You have really made this our home. We will share it together forever. I want you to share ownership of the house with me.’ However, Johnson never contacted the Land Registry to make Patsy a joint tenant.
A few months after this, Patsy had some luck in finding work, becoming a part-time tutor at a famous Bloomsbury university. She used her earnings to pay the utility bills at 5 Pilchard Way, as well as to buy shrubs and trees to plant in its garden. Over breakfast one morning, Johnson suggested that, as they will be together forever, they should open a joint bank account, and have their wages paid into this. Patsy agreed, feeling secure in the love and care emanating from Johnson. Despite this, they never actually got around to opening the joint account, and continued to keep separate bank accounts instead.
A couple of years later, Patsy had an idea: she and Johnson should record lectures and talks, and then make these available online to paying subscribers. After some early experiments, it seemed that the project would work. Patsy used her savings to buy more sophisticated cameras and microphones, and converted the spare room in 5 Pilchard Way into a hi-tech cyber-recording booth. Patsy and Johnson both used this new facility to record their lectures. Interest in their lectures grew around the world, and the subscriptions soon added up to a substantial income. The money from subscribers was paid directly into Johnson’s account but, as he told Patsy, it is ‘our money’.
On the 6th anniversary of Patsy moving in to 5 Pilchard Way, she awakes to a nasty surprise: on the breakfast bar is a note from Johnson. It says that Johnson is moving abroad, as he really needs to find himself. He thanks Patsy for all of the joy and opportunity for personal growth that she has given him, but that it is now time to move on. Johnson has left a cheque for £6,000 on the breakfast bar, writing that this is to help Patsy ‘set herself up somewhere else’. In a post-script, he adds that 5 Pilchard Way has been sold, and that Patsy will need to vacate by the end of the month. Patsy subsequently learns that Johnson is travelling in Europe with one of his PhD students. 5 Pilchard Way has been sold to Benji, a lecturer in the same department as Johnson.
Advise Patsy as to any claim she may have to 5 Pilchard Way.
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- Thread Starter
- 05-01-2015 15:08
- 11-07-2016 22:02
Hello Tony, did you manage to submit the answer to this paper? If so are you able to send it to me to read as I have a paper quite similar that I have submitted and would like to compare I am intrigued to see your answer