Grant v Edwards [1986] Ch. 638 

Common Intention – Beneficial Interest – Constructive Trust – Equity – Common Intention – Title Deeds - Conveyance


The complainant, Mrs Grant, was going to co-habit with Mr Grant. The defendant purchased a house for them to live together in December 1969, with the property conveyed in the joint name of Mr Grant and his brother. The complainant was married to someone else at this time, so the defendant said he would not put her name on the title deeds, as it may affect her divorce from her husband. The defendant paid the deposit and mortgages for the home, while the complainant paid for housekeeping and the children.


This appeal concerned whether Mrs Grant had a beneficial interest in the property, even though the defendant had not put her name on the conveyance and had paid the mortgage instalments.


It was held that the complainant was entitled to 50 per cent of any proceedings of sale from the house, as she had a beneficial interest under constructive trust. In order to form a constructive trust, there must be a common intention that a person has a beneficial interest; although there were no express words in the title deeds, the excuse made by the defendant about prejudicing the matrimonial proceeds was seen as demonstrating this agreement to share the property. In addition, although the defendant paid the mortgage, Mrs Grant made financial contributions to the upkeep of the home and this would not have been done if she did not think she had an interest in the property. Thus, there is common intention for a constructive trust and the complainant has a beneficial interest in the property.