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Eves v Eves [1975] 1 WLR 1338  Court of Appeal
 
The claimant formed a relationship with the defendant who was married at the time but had separated from his wife. The claimant fell pregnant and changed her name by deed poll to take on the defendant's name. They intended to marry when their divorces came through. They purchased a house which was conveyed into his name alone. He told her this was because she was too young to have her name on the legal title and that if she had been old enough the house would have been in both their names. The purchase price was met with the proceeds of sale of his former house and a mortgage. The claimant did not provide any direct contribution to the purchase price but carried out substantial work on the property including redecoration, demolishing and building a shed, breaking up concrete and preparing the lawn for turfing. They had a further child and when the divorces came through they agreed to marry but didn't. He then left the claimant for another woman.
 
Held:
 
The claimant was entitled to one quarter of the beneficial interest under a constructive trust
 
Lord Denning:
 

    "It seems to me that this conduct by Mr. Eves amounted to a recognition by him that, in all fairness, she was entitled to a share in the house, equivalent in some way to a declaration of trust; not for a particular share, but for such share as was fair in view of all she had done and was doing for him and the children and would thereafter do. By so doing he gained her confidence. She trusted him. She did not make any financial contribution but she contributed in many other ways. She did much work in the house and garden. She looked after him and cared for the children. It is clear that her contribution was such that if she had been a wife she would have had a good claim to have a share in it on a divorce: see Wachtel v. Wachtel [1973] Fam. 72, 92-94.

    In view of his conduct, it would, I think, be most inequitable for him to deny her any share in the house. The law will impute or impose a constructive trust by which he was to hold it in trust for them both. But what should be the shares? I think one half would be too much. I suggest it should be one quarter of the equity."

    Back to lecture outline on constructive trusts in land law