Ownership of the family home is generally not contested until the relationship between the spouses or cohabitants breaks down. The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 gives the courts adjustive powers to deal with disputes between spouses on the breakdown of the marriage but there is currently no statutory regime governing the financial consequences of separation for unmarried cohabitants. The common intention constructive trust has expanded to fill the vacuum as it falls upon cohabitants to establish an equitable interest in the property.
Recent high profile cases and seemingly contradictory judgments have only served to increase the controversy surrounding this particular area of the law. The only aspect of consensus amongst academics, judges and law-reformers alike is that in its current form, the common intention constructive trust remains far from satisfactory. In this book, Alastair Hudson analyses the social, economic and political factors behind the emergence of the common intention constructive trust and its application by the courts.
A lively and comprehensive exploration of this burgeoning area of law, this is an ideal guide for students of property law at all levels.