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Hussey v Palmer [1972] 1 WLR 1286 Court of Appeal
 
Mrs Hussey was an elderly woman. Her daughter and son-in-law (Mrs & Mr Palmer) invited her to move in with them. Mrs Hussey sold her house and paid £607 to have an extension built on the property of Mr & Mrs Palmer which was to be her bedroom. After a few months the relationship between the mother and daughter broke down and Mrs Hussey decided to move out. She then made a claim against Mr Palmer asserting a beneficial interest in the property based on a resulting trust.
 
Held:
 
Mrs Hussey was entitled to a share in the beneficial interest in proportion to the £607 contributed.
 
 
Lod Denning:
 

    "Although the plaintiff alleged that there was resulting trust, I should have thought that the trust in this case, if there was one, was more in the nature of a constructive trust: but this is more a pattern of words than anything else. The two run together. By whatever name it is described, it is a trust imposed by law whenever justice and good conscience require it. It is a liberal process, founded upon large principles of equity, to be applied in eases where the defendant cannot conscientiously keep the property for himself alone, but ought to allow another to have the property or a share in it. The trust may arise at the outset when the property is acquired, or later on, as the circumstances may require. It is an equitable remedy by which the Court can enable an aggrieved party to obtain restitution. It is comparable to the legal remedy of money had and received which, as Lord Mansfield said, is very beneficial and, therefore, much encouraged."

    ...

    "To this I would add Inwards v. Baker (1965) 2 Q.B. 29, when a son built a bungalow on his father's land in the expectation that he would be allowed to stay there as his home, though there was no promise to that effect. After the father's death, his trustees sought to turn the son out. It was held that he had an equitable interest which was good against the trustees. In those eases it was emphasised that the Court mast look at the circumstances of each ease to decide in what way the equity can be satisfied. In some by an equitable lien. In others by a constructive trust. But in either ease it is because justice and good conscience so require."

    Back to lecture outline on resulting trusts in land law

    Back to lecture outline on constructive trusts