The marriage between the defendants had broken down, but the wife still visited the house regularly, staying and caring for the children when the husband was away. The house was held in his sole name. He charged it to the plaintiffs, who now sought possession. The wife asserted an equitable interest, as a person in possession.
Held: The husband had concealed her presence from the lender at the time of the charge. Nevertheless, occupation under the section did not have to be exclusive or continuous. It was not negatived by repeated or even regular absences. The wife was in the house almost every day. The presence of the children should have put the surveyor on inquiry, and knowledge of her presence was to be imputed to the lender who therefore took their charge subject to her rights. Once the surveyor came to be aware that the husband was married, he was under a duty to make appropriate enquiries. The husband’s attempts to hide her could not be used by the bank to defeat her claim. What would be reasonable enquiries will depend on the circumstances. The court attempted to equate inquiry in unregistered conveyancing with that expected in registered conveyancing as a result of the decision in Boland.
 2 All ER 559,  1 WLR 783
England and Wales
Applied – Williams and Glyn’s Bank Ltd v Boland HL 19-Jun-1980
Wife in Occupation had Overriding Interest
The wife had made a substantial financial contribution to the purchase price of the house which was registered only in her husband’s name, and charged to the bank. The bank sought possession. The wife resisted saying that she had an overriding . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 12 May 2022; Ref: scu.189988