The following Property Disputes Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
A proprietary estoppel action can found a cause of action and is used where a party (B) seeks to assert a proprietary right to land belonging to another party (A) in circumstances where B has been lead to believe, by a promise, words or conduct and/or by acquiescence from A, that they (B) have or can expect to acquire an interest in the land.
Regarding the issue of detriment and countervailing benefit, in the case of Rawlings v Chapman, HHJ David Cooke in summarising the law on proprietary estoppel stated that:
‘In considering what detriment the claimant has suffered, the court must take into account any countervailing benefits that she has received, such as residing in the owner’s property rent free.’
If a proprietary estoppel claim succeeds, an equity arises in the claimant's favour. In Davies v Davies, the Court of Appeal set out nine propositions to be considered by the court in applying that equity, which included that:
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