The property was purchased in March 2009 and transferred into joint names with Mr Rowland funding the entire purchase price of £1,550,000 plus associated acquisition costs - the plan was for this to be used as a 'holiday and weekend home' for the couple. The couple both had properties of their own and never 'saw fit' to pool resources. The relationship began to break down shortly after the property was purchased.
Notwithstanding there was no declaration of trust as to the beneficial interest of the property, Deputy Master Hansen found there was a sufficient common intention at the outset that they were to share the property beneficially, and this intention did not change post acquisition. Deputy Master Hansen found that: "the die was cast on 31.03.19. The parties could have formed a different intention thereafter but I am satisfied they did not".
This case is interesting as the property was purchased to be used as a holiday and weekend 'retreat' rather than a permanent home. It serves as a further reminder to carefully consider the beneficial ownership of the property, particularly if it is being funded by one party only.
In one sense, the outcome is a harsh one for Dr Rowland who contributed the whole of the purchase price in acquiring a country house to be used as a weekend and holiday retreat by a couple who each had their own properties and who never saw fit to pool their resources.