Hard Work Not Enough for Share of Home

April 15, 2015

Hard Work Not Enough for Share of Home

A woman who sued her ex-partner for a half share of his £500,000 home – on the basis that she and members of her family had put two years of toil into renovating the property before the relationship ended – has had her claim rejected by a judge.

The woman had been 'devastated' when her boyfriend broke up with her four months after moving into his new home. There was no dispute that she and her relatives had worked hard restoring the property to a good state of repair and decoration in the belief that the couple would live there together. She was convinced that marriage was on the horizon and that the house would be their family home.

However, the judge rejected any suggestion that the whole episode was a 'deceitful scheme' by the boyfriend to get his property restored by the woman and her family free of charge. Arguments that he had orally agreed to give her half the property during a family dinner party were also dismissed.

Although the woman and her relatives had contributed much to the project, her boyfriend – who had paid for the house which was in his sole name – had never committed himself to becoming engaged, nor was their labour provided on the condition that she would be entitled to an interest in the property.