Stack v Dowden

Stack v Dowden [2007] UKHL 17

Mr. Stack and Ms. Dowden were permanently cohabiting since 1983. Mr. S was a builder/decorator, who later joined in regular employment with Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council, whereas Ms. D was an Electrical Engineer with the London Electricity Board. Mr. S earned £ 24,000, whilst Ms. D was earning £ 42,000 per annum. Four children were born to them in 1986,1987, 1989 and 1991.

In 1993, they bought a house in Chatsworth Road, London NW 2. It was conveyed into their joint names. This contained no declaration of trust, but did contain a declaration that the survivor could give a good receipt of capital money arising from a disposition of all or part of the property.

The price of Chatsworth Road house was £ 190,000. It was funded by selling a house which was in Ms. D’s sole name, her savings and a joint loan. Ms. D therefore had given 65% of the purchase price of the Chatsworth Road house.

The utilities bills were all in Ms. D’s name although Mr. S claimed to have paid some of them. Improvements to the house were also made by Mr. S.

They had kept separate bank accounts and had made a series of separate investments and savings.

The parties separated in October 2002. Mr. S left the property and Ms. D remained at Chatsworth Road with the children.

Mr. S sought a declaration that the house was held upon trust by both of them as tenants in common and an order for its sale. He also claimed for equal division of the proceeds. A lower court ordered to exclude Mr. S from the house and Ms. D was to pay Mr. S for the cost of his alternative accommodation.

The Central London County Court, on 06/10/2004 ordered that the property be sold and the net proceeds of sale divided equally between the parties, as should the joint endowment policy.

Ms. D appealed.

On 13/07/2005, the Court of Appeal allowed her appeal and ordered that the net proceeds of sale be divided 65% to 35% in her favor.

Mr. S appealed.

Appeal dismissed.