Section 66G of the Conveyancing Act 1919 provides that where any property is owned by more than one person, one of the parties, who owns at least 50%, can approach the court and seek orders that trustees be appointed and for the property to be sold.
The money would then be held by the trustee and distributed in accordance with any orders of the court.
The court will generally only refuse an application for a sale pursuant to section 66G under special circumstances. An example of a reason might be if it has previously been agreed between the parties that they will not sell the property unless everyone agrees.
In respect to the sale proceeds and how the trustee will distribute those, the following rules apply:
- the starting point is that the proceeds will be distributed in accordance with the title as provided for on the certificate of title;
- if the property is held in joint names, but the parties have not contributed equally to the acquisition/maintenance, there is a presumption that the property is held in a resulting trust in proportion to the respective contributions;
- this presumption of a trust can also be rebutted in cases where there may be a presumption of advancement. Presumptions of advancement come about mostly in cases of property that is held jointly by family members and there may be a presumption that one party care or provide for the other, such as a parent/child relationship.
If you should have any queries about selling land that is jointly owned, please do not hesitate to call us at Everingham Solomons because Helping You is Our Business.
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