The couple had started living together in 1986 at a farm bought by the man. They
remained there until their relationship broke down in 1996. However, the partner remained on the farm and used it to run a cattery and kennel business.
The couple had two children together. They kept in touch and continued to see each other. The man hoped they would be reconciled and resume living together. In 2006, he transferred the farm’s derelict barn to his former partner and she became the registered owner.
He did some repair work on the barn and contributed about £65,000 to its conversion. It was later sold for £400,000.
The man then claimed a share of the profits, saying that he had made a significant contribution to its conversion in the belief that he and his former partner would resume living
together. She denied this and said that the payments were purely in recognition of her contribution to the family.
The court ruled in favour of the man. It held that the contention that his contributions towards the conversion were meant simply as gifts could not be accepted. The money he spent on the barn represented a significant part of his assets and he clearly expected that it would become his home.
His former partner had encouraged him to make the investment, knowing that it was not a gift and that he expected to live in the property.
The court held that the man should be granted a 25% interest in the barn.
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