A trust of land is a trust of property which consists of, or includes land.

Types of Trusts

  • Express Trusts - are where the legal owner(s) of the property declare that they hold the property on trust for specified beneficiaries. The declaration will also set out the proportions, or ways, in which they are to hold beneficial interest.

  • Implied Trusts - are trusts which have not been expressly defined as being a trust in any legal documentation. There are two types of implied trusts:

    • Constructive Trust – is an agreement, understanding or promise between 2 parties. There may also be an express agreement or there may not, but in either situation, the Court will look at all the evidence when determining the share of each party.

    • Resulting Trust – is when party B, (the person who believe they have a right to a share in the property), has made a direct financial contribution to the purchase of the property, which is solely in party A’s name, (the person who has the sole legal title to the property).

Dispute Applications and Advice

The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (ToLATA) gives the Courts certain powers to resolve disputes about the ownership of land. There are two main types of applications that you can make under the ToLATA, in order to resolve the following disputes: 1) to decide who is entitled to occupy, 2) to decide the nature and the extent of the ownership.

If you are planning to make an application, you should consider resolving the dispute with ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ (ADR) before court proceedings. The two most frequently used methods are mediation and negotiation. Even though ADR is not compulsory, it is heavily encouraged. If court proceedings are issued, the Judge will most likely be interest to see if ADR was tried first.

Court Proceedings

If court proceedings are issued, before they start the claimant is required to summarise the dispute and what they propose the court to do in a letter, called a ‘Pre-Action’ letter. The letter should also identify any documents in which the claimant intends to rely on in support of the proposed claim. The letter should then ben sent to all co-owners, whether they are legal of beneficial owners of the land in dispute.

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those who are in dispute over ownership of land or property. 

Our expert property disputes Solicitors know that when you are involved in a dispute it can be a stressful and expensive process.  We are here to provide pragmatic and cost effective solutions to end your dispute quickly.  Call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback

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