Woman entitled to a share of her partner’s house

A man has been ordered to pay £28,500 to his former partner after he had assured her that she would have a home for life.

The couple began living together in 2002. The woman had been living in a secure tenancy and had limited resources.

They bought a house with the man’s capital and he made monthly payments on the mortgage. The woman claimed that the house was solely in his name because it was more convenient. She said they had always intended to become joint owners.

The man said that it had always been understood that it was his house and he had only intended for her to live there for as long as the relationship lasted.

When the relationship ended in 2012, the woman claimed that her partner held the house on a constructive trust for both of them in equal shares. The judge dismissed this argument but upheld a separate claim that she should receive £28,500 from the equity of the property.

This was because the man had given her reason to believe that he was making a commitment to providing her with a secure home. It was unfair of him to give her that impression and then fail to follow it through when the relationship ended.

The judge said that the woman wouldn’t have given up her secure tenancy without those assurances. She lost security and money by moving in with her partner. The court valued that loss at £28,500.

The Court of Appeal upheld the decision.

Please contact us at family@berrysmith.com for advice about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family or matrimonial law.