Answer TWO of the following SIX questions.
- “The law on adverse possession is commonly considered to be a means of destroying the rights of property owners. In truth, adverse possession is a positive force. It ensures that land is not allowed to go to waste. This is particularly important in our busy cities where land is so expensive. Moreover, the law on adverse possession in unregistered land is considerably more progressive than the law on adverse possession in registered land.”
- Gladys owned a large estate, incorporating a house and small cottage. To raise some money she sold the freehold of the cottage on the estate to Helen. There were covenants in the transfer as follows:
i) To contribute 20% to the upkeep of the drains which run from the cottage, across the retained estate:
ii) To always maintain the cottage as a residential property
iii) To provide Gladys and her successors with a bouquet of flowers from the
cottage garden every 21st June.
Gladys sold the retained estate to Ingar in 1990 and Helen has sold the cottage Killian. The drains became blocked and Killian has refused to contribute to their unblocking. The blockage is in part caused by Killian running a bakery from the cottage. On 21st June Ingar did not get the expected bunch of flowers.
Advise Ingar on any rights she may have in relation to the enforceability of the covenants.
- Lemara was an elderly widow with two adult children: Maggie and Niles. Earlier this year Lemara transferred her house to Maggie. She then used £200,000 of her own money to buy a flat in Niles’ name. Niles was worried about paying too much tax after this transaction that he transferred his shares in BOK Ltd to his daughter Ophelia.
Lemara has recently died and left her estate to Quentin. He claims that the house and flat belong to Lemara’s estate. Niles has realised that he will not be liable for any additional tax if so and wants to reclaim the shares from Ophelia.
Advise the parties on the ownership of the assets.
- In McPhail v Doulton Lord Hodson (dissenting) said: “In my opinion a mere power is a different animal from a trust and the test of certainty in the case of trusts which stems from Morice v. Bishop of Durham is valid and should not readily yield to the test which is sufficient in the case of mere powers.” Discuss
- Edgar is the owner of a freehold on a three-storey house. He decides to let out the top two floors of the property, while retaining the ground floor as his own residence. His nephew Alan, a university student, asks Edgar if he can stay in the first floor flat. Edgar tells Alan that he can stay in the flat “till the end of his university degree” and must pay a rent of £750 a month. Alan agrees to these terms and moves in.
Alan’s friends, Dom and Sky are a couple. They approach Edgar asking if they can move into the second floor flat, which is comprised of a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Edgar agrees and asks Dom and Sky to sign separate documents titled “License Agreement”. Dom signs her agreement on the 24th of February 2022 and Sky signs their agreement on the 26th of February 2022. The ‘License Agreements’ contain the following clauses
- a) that the licensor shall have the right to enter at will in order to inspect and clean the second floor flat
- b) that the licensor shall have the right to house one other person in the second floor flat and the licensees shall make room for this person.
- c) That the license agreement shall be valid for one year from the date of signature.
After they enter into the agreement, Edgar hands over the keys to Dom and Sky and does not retain any key for himself. On March 1, 2022, Edgar asks Dom and Sky if he can borrow their key to enter the flat in order to clean the roof. He does so and returns the key thereafter. He never introduces a third person into their flat.
In May 2022, Edgar sells the freehold of the property to Pauline. Pauline wants Alan, and Dom and Sky, to move out of their respective flats. Alan, Dom and Sky come to you for advice.
6. Salman had been in a relationship with Betty for several years. Betty was much older than Salman and eventually she required full time care. To care for Betty, Salman left his job and sold his flat in London to move in with her in her farmhouse. Before he left his job and sold his flat, Salman told Betty that he felt hesitant to sell his only property and give up his only income. In response, Betty told him “Do not worry. I’ll take care of things while I’m around and after I’m gone, you’ll be looked after.” Salman understood this to mean that he would inherit the farmhouse. Salman worked on the farm with Betty and contributed to renovating the farmhouse which involved installing a central heating system and replacing the roof and installing other amenities to help with her care. 2 years after Salman moved in, Betty passed away. In her will she left the farmhouse to her daughter Charlotte. Charlotte has now asked Salman to leave the farmhouse. Advise Salman on the rights he has in relation to the farmhouse.