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Co-ownership disputes - Stack v Dowden
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Co-ownership disputes - Stack v Dowden

This article deals with the situation that arises when an unmarried couple splits up. What will happen to the house? Does it depend upon whose name appears on the Land Registry title? Does it depend on who paid most of the money? What other factors are relevant?

For a training session on this area of the law run by Gary Webber see Co-ownership disputes.

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Stack v Dowden

Properties acquired for investment purposes

Erlam v Rahman
[2016] EWHC 111 (Ch)


An applicant in charging order proceedings failed to establish that she had a beneficial interest in the charged properties either by way of express declaration of trust or resulting trust. The principles of Stack v Dowden did not apply because this was not a domestic case but one were the properties were acquired for investment purposes.


D1 was the mayor of Tower Hamlets who was removed from his post following a challenge to the Electoral Commissioner based on fraud and corruption. Following that court case D1 was ordered to pay the legal costs. The Cs applied for a charging order over several of D1’s properties, however only one charging order had been made final when D1 made himself bankrupt.

D2 was D1’s wife. She claimed to have a beneficial interest in the properties. However because only one of the charging orders had been made final, the case proceeded as an application by D2 to vary that final charging order and all other applications were stayed.

The burden of proof was on D2 to show that she had a beneficial interest. She relied on a declaration of trust that she owned 74% of the beneficial interest. This had been drawn up by solicitors but was unclear ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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