Jones v Challenger [1961] 1 QB 176

The effect of extinction of the purpose of a trust to provide a matrimonial home on a joint tenant’s right to seek an order of sale.


A married couple held joint legal and equitable title to a piece of property which had served as their matrimonial home. Upon the disintegration of the relationship, the wife wanted to sell their matrimonial home. The husband attempted to assert his right as a beneficiary of the joint trust on which they held the property to prevent the sale. Subsequently the wife sought an order of sale from the Court to enable her to sell the property without her husband’s consent as a beneficiary of the property and trust.


Whether the couple’s divorce extinguished the joint trust of the property (given its purpose as the matrimonial home) and thus negating the husband’s right to prevent sale on the grounds of equity.


The Court found for the wife, deeming that an order of sale could be reasonably issued despite the husband’s protest as the purpose of the joint trust regarding the property had been to provide a matrimonial home and as the trustees had divorced, this purpose was no longer existent. With the extinction of the trust’s purpose, there was a presumption that a sale could be order as per a trust for sale. Had the couple still been married, the husband’s beneficial interest in the property would have been considered differently as the trust’s purpose would be ongoing.

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