In the process of seeking to enforce the terms of the order handed down by HHJ Cooke in the case of Poole v Everall  EWHC 2126 (Ch) charging orders were obtained against the Defendant’s interest in properties co-owned by the Defendant and his partner, and the claimants applied for an order that the properties be sold.
The registered titles to the defendant and his partner’s properties recorded that the properties were held by them as joint tenants. This means that the if one of the owners should die, the surviving ones continue to own the whole of the property. It is usually the case that the beneficial interest in a property follows the legal title, unless there is a valid trust which states otherwise. However, the defendant and his partner in this case asserted that a mutual notice of severance had been served and a declaration made that the properties were owned with a split of the beneficial interests of 95% / 5% (partner/defendant).
The timing of the production of a copy of the notice (apparently the original was not available), and the reasons given for the split, raised significant suspicions as to the authenticity of the arrangement and the trust deed itself. Fortunately for our clients, HHJ Worster agreed.
The defendant and his partner could not produce any evidence that one party had made a greater contribution to the share of the equity in the properties and, in giving his Judgment on the 15th December 2017, the Judge recognised that the trust deed had been produced in an attempt to preserve and protect the properties from being used to pay the costs of the original proceedings.
It was possible to reach an arrangement in Court whereby only one of two properties will be sold, provided certain requirements are met within a specified timeframe. The Owners were ordered to pay our client’s costs.