- Proprietary estoppel and the interface with property contracts (Howe v Gossop)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Property Disputes Analysis: In Howe v Gossop the High Court had to grapple on appeal with how the doctrine of proprietary estoppel interacts with the provisions of section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 (LP(MP)A 1989). The court dismissed the appeal and, considering the various grounds of appeal from the County Court, held that—(i) where there was a ‘transactional’ case in which proprietary estoppel arose, LP(MP)A 1989, s 2 did not stand in the way of equitable relief, (ii) there was no requirement that a case be ‘exceptional’ before relief would be granted relating to proprietary estoppel where the parties had tried and failed to enter into a binding contract, nor did there necessarily have to be assurances that technicalities would not be relied upon, (iii) if essentially what was sought was to enforce a failed agreement, different considerations would arise, (iv) even if such an agreement were incomplete, relief might still be granted. Written by Andrew Vinson, barrister, at Exchange Chambers.
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