W and H were at all times estranged. W bought a house, but later, in order to get a mortgage, it was put in their joint names. They later expressly declared equal interests. At no time did H either contribute to or live in the house. On H’s insolvency the claimant receiver sought a share of the house. W argued that this would amount to an unjust enrichment.
Held: ‘the effect of the express declaration of trust in the Trust Deed and the TR1 form was to vest a beneficial interest in property in Mr. Jackson. It is inherent in the nature of a proprietary interest in land that the owner of the interest can sit back and do nothing and yet still be entitled to benefit from any appreciation in the capital value of the property. Accordingly, it cannot be said that, without more, a beneficial co-owner of land who shares in the increased value of the land has thereby been unjustly enriched. The retention of such benefit would not be unjust, because it is what the owner of an interest in property is entitled to.’ and ‘the correct apportionment of the proceeds of sale of the Property would be first to split the net proceeds equally between the Trustee and Mrs. Jackson, and then to give Mrs. Jackson additional credit for one half of all the payments she has made under the mortgage(s) from the date the Property was purchased to the date upon which the Property is sold. There should be no credits in respect of other payments which Mrs. Jackson has made, and no debits in respect of her occupation of the Property.’
Updated: 10 January 2022; Ref: scu.581730