Cohabitation

We provide advice and guidance to people involved in cohabitation disputes including bringing claims under s14 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

WHO CAN BRING A CLAIM

If you have been cohabiting with someone else and you are not married to them, you might have a claim under s14 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (ToLATA).

Property and land can be owned both legally and beneficially. You can bring a claim under ToLATA if you jointly own a property with someone or if you do not legally own it but there is evidence to show that you have an interest in that property, for example, you have been contributing towards the mortgage or you paid for an extension. If this is the case then either a resulting or constructive trust may have arisen.

RESULTING TRUST

For a resulting trust to have arisen there must have been a direct financial contribution to the property for example by way of payment towards the purchase price or towards the mortgage repayment premiums. 

CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST

For a resulting trust to have arisen there does not have to be a direct financial contribution to the purchase price of the property, but rather payment towards such things as significant DIY or renovations.

WHAT CAN THE COURT DO?

The court can make orders establishing the extent to which an individual has an interest in a property, to regulate the occupation of a property, partition the land and/or make an order that the property should be sold and respective parties paid their share of the property from the sale proceeds.

WHAT WILL THE COURT CONSIDER

When dealing with an application under ToLATA and whether someone has a claim against property or land, the court will consider a number of things in order to establish whether an interest exists or not. This includes:

  • The intentions of the parties;
  • The purpose of the property;
  • The welfare of any children that occupy the property or intend to occupy the property; and
  • The interests of any secured creditor or beneficiary.