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Co-ownership and estoppel.

The editor of this section of the site is Samantha Jackson of 1 Chancery Lane, London.

There are 4 cases this month:
  • The buyers did not sign the transfer to declare their beneficial ownership but the signature of the sellers was sufficient.
  • There was jurisdiction to make an order under the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 on behalf of one co-owner of the freehold against the other to extend the lease on her flat, but this was not ordered in this case.
  • The principle that beneficial ownership follows legal ownership unless the contrary is proven can apply where the parties' personal relationship has a commercial aspect.
  • A property was beneficially owned by an individual and not by a company, its registered legal owner.
Declaration of trust

Section 53(1)(b) of the Law of Property Act 1925

Taylor v Taylor
[2017] 4 WLR 83


The buyers of property held the legal estate of the land on trust for themselves as tenants in common in equal shares. They did not need to sign the transfer form in order to achieve a declaration of trust evidenced by signed writing. The sellers’ signatures were sufficient to comply with s53(1)(b) of the Law of Property Act 1925.

Relevant statutory provisions

s53(1)(b) of the Law of Property Act 1925 provides:

"Subject to the provision hereinafter contained with respect to the creation of interests in land by parol—
(a) … ;
(b) a declaration of trust respecting any land or any interest therein must be manifested and proved by some writing signed by some person who is able to declare such trust or by his will … "


The claimant (M) and the defendants were members of the same family; the first defendant (B) was the claimant's son. The freehold in a small hotel and camp-site (the Property) was transferred by the vendors to M and B. This was for the purposes of a partnership business of M and B that involved buying and renovating properties. After taking instructions from the buyers, their solicitor filled in the relevant Land Registry transfer ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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