Successfully defending a claim for a share of a property

Holly’s client owned a property in which he had allowed his daughter and grandchildren to live rent-free for 20 years. The daughter’s partner, the Claimant, had lived there alongside the family. He had undertaken extensive works to the property, including the building of extensions, which had increased its value.

The Defendant’s daughter had passed away, and her former partner now claimed that, having paid for and undertaken this work to the property, he owned a share of it.

This was strongly opposed by Holly’s client, who had not visited the property for many years and said that he was not aware of the works and had not agreed to them. This was largely accepted by the Claimant.

Holly succeeded in defending the claim. The Court agreed that there was no common intention between the Claimant and Defendant that the Claimant should own some of the property. Further, the Court did not agree that Holly’s client had ever led the Claimant to believe that the property would be his if he did work to it.

The Court therefore dismissed the claim and ordered the Claimant to pay the Defendant’s costs.