• Kernott v Jones: A cautionary tale for unmarried couples
  • November 30, 2011
  • Law Firm: Speechly Bircham LLP - London Office
  • The case considers the approach where the legal title to a property is held in joint names by an unmarried couple but there is no express statement of how the beneficial interest is to be shared. Ms Jones and Mr Kernott were in a relationship and bought a house as joint tenants in 1985 ("the Property") but no declaration was made as to how the beneficial interest in the Property was to be held. The deposit was provided by Ms Jones from the sale proceeds of her previous home and the balance of the purchase price was funded by an endowment mortgage. In 1986 the couple jointly took out a loan to build an extension and Mr Kernott was primarily responsible for the building work. The mortgage and household expenses were shared between them.