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Burgess v Rawnsley [1975] Ch 429, CA

249 words (1 pages) Case Summary

1st Jul 2019 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

Joint Tenancy – Severance – Conditions necessary for severance


Mr Honick and Mrs Rawnsley bought a property as beneficial joint tenants.  They had originally agreed to move into the property together.  Mr Honick made a proposal of marriage to Mrs Rawnsley which she declined, and then in fact never moved into the property.  She then agreed to sell her interest in the property to Mr Honick for £750.  This price was originally agreed, but before the sale was completed Mrs Rawnsley changed her mind because she wanted a better price.  Mr Honick then died.  His estate wished to establish severance of the joint tenancy, whereas Mrs Rawnsley sought to show that the joint tenancy had not been severed and that she was entitled to survivorship of the property.


Whether or not the joint tenancy had been severed.   Whether or not the parties had severed the joint tenancy by coming to an agreement on the sale of the property at a price of £750 even if this was not in fact completed.


It was found that due to the agreement being oral the provisions of s40 Law of Property Act 1925 had not been met for the conveyance of the land. However, despite no clear ruling concerning this, it was asserted by Denning that a common intention had been formed through the parties ‘course of dealings’ which in turn severed the joint tenancy. The other judges concurred.

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