We specialise in bringing and defending proprietary estoppel claims
A proprietary estoppel claim can be made when someone has been promised that they will be given an interest in a property, but that promise is subsequently reneged upon.
The classic proprietary estoppel scenario would be a family farm where a son or daughter works for years, often putting in very long hours for minimal income, on the basis that their parents will ultimately leave the farm to them. If the parents then change their mind and go back on their promise their son or daughter will be left at a disadvantage. This is when they can rely on the legal principle of proprietary estoppel. In effect the law steps in to ensure that the innocent party doesn’t lose out when a promise is broken.
In order to bring a proprietary estoppel claim you must be able to show:
- That a promise has been made. This will usually be explicit, but it also includes situations where someone passively allows another person to do something under a mistaken belief;
- The promise has been relied upon and, in doing so, they have acted to their detriment, suffering substantial loss; and
- It would be ‘unconscionable’ for the party who gave the promise to be allowed to go back on their promise.
Where a proprietary estoppel claim is successful the court can give the claimant a beneficial interest in the property, award them a lump sum, allow them to occupy the property rent free or simply a transfer the freehold title of the property to them.
We are often able to deal with proprietary estoppel claims on a No Win, No Fee basis and are always happy to consider this form of funding.