Lynn Jones and Mike Smith are an unmarried couple. They met in 1990 and decided to set up home together. In the same year, Mike purchased a house in his sole name, the purchase money coming from his divorce settlement and by way of a mortgage. At Mike's invitation, Lynn Moved into the house shortly after completion of the purchase.
She also, throughout the relationship, looked after the children and performed all the usual domestic duties around the home.
In Sept 2003, Lynn formed a liaison with another man and moved out of the house. She brought an action against Mike claiming that she was entitled to a half-share in the house by reason of her contributions to the house hold expenses during the period the parties lived together. According to the evidence at the trial in the High Court, both Lynn and Mike had assumed that the house was jointly owned although the matter was never actually discussed between them. It is also not in dispute that, if it had not been for the fact that Lynn was working part-time, Mike would not have been able to meet the mortgage payments out of his own salary.
1) Applying Lloyds Bank plc v Rosset (1994) 1 A.C. 107, (HL), in the absence of any finding of an agreement, arrangement or understanding between the parties to share beneficially, Lynn's indirect contributions to household expenses were insufficient to found a beneficial interest in the house. In particular, the court refused to follow the decision of Mr. Nicholas Mostyn Q.C. (sitting as a deputy High judge) in Le v Le Foe (2002) 2 F.L.R. ...