Calverley v Green – Case Summary

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Last modified: 07/03/18 Author: In-house law team

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Calverley v Green (1984) 155 CLR 242

Resulting Trusts – Equity – Australia – Beneficial Interest – De Facto Relationship – Property – Unequal Share

Facts

Mr Calverley and Ms Green were in a de facto relationship, where they were not legally married but had lived together as if they were for 10 years. They purchased a house together and they were both registered as joint proprietors. Mr Calverley paid the deposit for the house and both of them were jointly and severally liable for the loan repayments for the property. They agreed between themselves that Mr Calverley would provide these loan repayments. They later separated.

Issues

At first instance, it was held that Ms Green did not have any beneficial interest in the property. On appeal, the issue for the High Court was whether Ms Green did have a beneficial interest in the property as a joint tenant and whether there was evidence that showed an intention of the parties for this to be the case.

Held

The appeal was successful and it was held that Ms Green did have a beneficial interest in the property. The fact that both parties were jointly and severally liable for the mortgage repayments was indicative of intention and was the contribution by Ms Green to the price of the property. Although they had agreed between themselves that Mr Cavlerley would pay the loan repayments, this did not subtract from her contribution as a liable tenant or affect her beneficial interest in the property. Thus, there was a resulting trust.

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