Few unmarried couples enter into express agreements regarding what should happen to property if their relationship ends. The law has developed in different directions in the past fifty years as courts try to find an appropriate test to apply to cohabitation relationship breakdown. As cohabitation becomes more common, the need for a more flexible approach has become pressing. The application of the common intention constructive trust to family home disputes remains unsettled and far from satisfactory, particularly for women playing the role of a housewife or a mother, often non-legal owners of the property with little legal sympathy to their non-financial contributions to the property. Children are also victims in the sale of family home under Section 15 of TOLATA 1996. The potential consequences could tip the scale to the interests of creditors; and the unpredictability and inappropriate balance between co-owners’ life and interests of creditors will bring about either human right challenges on the rights to private and family life of involved wife and children, or commercial and financial repercussions on creditors to absorb the adverse effects of court rulings on their interests.
Corresponding author. Gina Heung
COPYRIGHT: © The UK Law and Society Association, 2018