The Property Rights Of Unmarried Couples: The Courts Have Ruled - Is It Fair?

The Supreme Court has handed down its judgment in the case of an unmarried cohabiting couple, Jones v Kernott [2011] UKSC 53. The couple purchased their Essex house in joint names in 1985, 4 years after they met. They had two children together and owned their home in equal shares when Mr Kernott left in 1993. Ms Jones continued to live in the house with the children and paid the mortgage and other bills. Mr Kernott stopped making contributions towards the running of the house and made limited contributions towards supporting the children. The value of the house increased and in 2006 Mr Kernott indicated that he wanted to claim a beneficial share in it.

The County Court ruled that their common intention of joint beneficial ownership had changed since the original purchase of the house and decided that Mr Kernott was only entitled to a 10% share. Mr Kernott appealed to the High Court which was dismissed, Mr Kernott then appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal allowed his appeal, deciding on a 50/50 split because they owned the house in equal shares when they separated and neither had done anything to change the situation. The...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT