The Law Commission Discussion Paper on Sharing Homes, first published online on July 18, 2002 and presented to the Parliament of UK in November 2002, points out the complex nature of the law guiding the Shared Homes (Sharing Homes, a discussion paper). Covering a broad range of people including married and unmarried couples, friends, relatives or others who share homes for any reason, the discussion paper closely examines the difficulties experienced by the partners in money matters or by the banks or financial institutions in recovery of loans in relation to shared homes where there are no registered agreements between the sharing couples.
Over a period of time, it is creating problems over the ownership of the house when the sharer dies or leaves the shared home for another place (Sharing Homes, The problem).
The discussion paper sources these problems to the ambiguity of the current law guiding these shared homes. The present law is not very clear on payments made by the sharer on behalf of the owner. For instance, mortgage payments made by the sharer are enough for staking a claim on the home. But, sometimes, the sharer regularly pays the household bills enabling the owner to pay the mortgage instalments. Sometimes, the sharer may look after the household work like
As per the law detailed in the discussion paper, a person who is not a legal owner but sharing the shelter in a home can claim an interest on it only when there is an equity arising by proprietary estoppel, when a resulting or constructive trust has arisen in his / her favour or when the sharer becomes a beneficiary under an express declaration of trust. ...