Ali v Khan [2002] 2 P. & C.R. DG19

Property – Trust – Beneficial Interest – Common Intention – Legal Interest


This case concerned property transferred between a father and daughter. Mr Khan was the sole registered proprietor of the house and he was the beneficial owner. He transferred this property to his two daughters, which he claimed to do to raise money for one of their weddings. One of the daughters transferred her interest to the other daughter by way of a gift, but paid mortgage instalments. Mr Khan still lived in the house and paid for its upkeep. He claimed that he always retained his beneficial interest in the property, despite the legal transfer. The daughter and father fell out and the complainant sought possession of the property.


The trial judge had held that Mr Khan had transferred his legal and beneficial interest to his daughters; there was no evidence that any common intention remained after this transfer and he should deliver possession to the complainant. Mr Khan appealed this decision, arguing that the transfer was to raise money and he did not dispose of his beneficial interest in the property.


The appeal was allowed. The judge found that the evidence showed that although the legal title of the property had transferred to his daughters, the defendant still had a beneficial interest in the property. This transfer was only to raise money for his daughter’s wedding. Normally the transfer of property would mean the disposing of the legal interest and beneficial interest of that home. However, if there was sufficient evidence that this was for a specific purpose, this may be accepted. Thus, the property was held on resulting trust for Mr Khan.