Midland Bank v Cooke and Another: CA 13 Jul 1995

Equal equitable interest inferrable without proof

The bank sought to enforce a charge given by the husband to secure a business loan. The property was purchased from the husband’s and his family’s resources and the loan, and was in his name. There had been no discussion or agreement between husband and wife at the time of the acquisition as to the basis upon which the property was held by the husband, or as to the extent of their respective beneficial interests.
Held: The wife was entitled to half share in the property. She had made a contribution equal to one half of the wedding gift, had a claim under Rossett. An equal equitable interest in a home could be inferred without proof of explicit words: ‘I would therefore hold that positive evidence that the parties neither discussed nor intended any agreement as to the proportions of their beneficial interest does not preclude the court, on general equitable principles, from inferring one’. Cash contributions were not the sole determinant of the value of a share of the equity in a home.
Lord Justice Stuart-Smith, Lord Justice Waite and Lord Justice Schiemann
Independent 26-Jul-1995, Times 13-Jul-1995, Gazette 31-Aug-1995, [1995] 4 All ER 562, [1995] 2 FLR 915, [1995] EWCA Civ 12, [1996] 1 FCR 442
England and Wales
FollowedLloyds Bank plc v Rosset HL 29-Mar-1990
The house had been bought during the marriage but in the husband’s sole name. The plaintiff’s charge secured the husband’s overdraft. The bank issued possession proceedings. Mr Rosset had left, but Mrs Rosset claimed, as against the bank an interest . .
CitedSpringette v Defoe CA 1-Mar-1992
Property was purchased in joint names, but with no express declaration of the beneficial interests. The couple had lived together for a short time as joint tenants of the local authority. They were able to purchase at a substantial discount from the . .
CitedGrant v Edwards and Edwards CA 24-Mar-1986
A couple were not married but lived together in Vincent Farmhouse in which the plaintiff claimed a beneficial interest on separation. The female partner was told by the male partner that the only reason for not acquiring the property in joint names . .
CitedMcHardy and Sons (A Firm) v Warren and Another CA 8-Apr-1994
A gift of the deposit to a couple can create an equal interest in the home for the spouses though the house is purchased in one name only. Lord Justice Dillon said: ‘To my mind it is irresistible conclusion that where a parent pays the deposit, . .

Cited by:
CitedOxley v Hiscock CA 6-May-2004
The parties were not married, but had brought together their resources to purchase a home in the name of one of them. Nothing had been said about the respective shares on which the property was to be held.
Held: The shares were to be assessed . .
CitedCarlton v Goodman CA 29-Apr-2002
The defendant claimed an interest in a house. The deceased had been a sitting tenant, and wanted to purchase his house. He could not obtain finance alone, and she joined with him, becoming liable under the mortgage. She did not live in the house . .
CitedVan Laethem v Brooker and Another ChD 12-Jul-2005
The claimant asserted an interest in several properties by virtue of a common intention constructive trust or by proprietary estoppel. The parties had been engaged to be married.
Held: ‘A [constructive] trust arises in connection with the . .
CitedStack v Dowden HL 25-Apr-2007
The parties had cohabited for a long time, in a home bought by Ms Dowden. After the breakdown of the relationship, Mr Stack claimed an equal interest in the second family home, which they had bought in joint names. The House was asked whether, when . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 June 2021; Ref: scu.83713