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Wilson v Wilson [1969] 1 WLR 1470 ChD

Rectification of trust on grounds of mistake; effect of equitable interests.

Facts

The defendant sought to purchase a house with the aid of a building society mortgage. His earnings did not satisfy the building society’s requirements, and so he asked his brother to join him as co-buyer. The transfer contained a declaration that the title was to be held as joint tenants in equity and the title was registered in joint names, with both brothers as co-mortgagors. The claimant served notice to sever the tenancy and claimed an undivided half share in the property, and the defendant counterclaimed to have the transfer rectified.

Issues

The defendant asserted that it had been the intention of both himself and his brother at the time of the purchase of the property that it should be held for him beneficially in its entirety. He had paid the full deposit and he had fulfilled the mortgage repayments and the claimant had contributed nothing to the purchase price of the property. The only reason the brother had been included on the title was to satisfy the mortgagee’s requirements. As such, he applied to have the part of the transfer establishing a joint tenancy to be rectified for mistake. The claimant sought to rely on the precise terms of the transfer deed and claimed a half share of the property.

Held

The defendant was afforded relief by way of rectification and the declaration of trust was struck out from the transfer deed. The evidence clearly showed that it was the intention of both parties that the property was to be held beneficially for the defendant in its entirety, subject only to the mortgage with the building society.


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