Allen v Snyder

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Citation: Allen v Snyder [1977] 2 NSWLR 685.

This information can be found in the Textbook: Edgeworth et all, Sackville and Neave's Property Law Cases and Materials, 8th edition, Lexis Nexis, 2008, pp. 369-71 [4.104].


Background Facts

  • The plaintiff and defendant lived together for 13 years without marrying.
  • They lived together in a house for 7 years for which the plaintiff, male, had title.
  • For 4 years after that the female defendant lived alone in the house.
  • The plaintiff commenced proceedings to eject the defendant.
  • She resisted, claiming the beneficial interest was equally shared between them.

Legal issues


  • Express, Resulting and Constructive trusts are getting dangerously close to one another and courts aren't always right in calling them what they are.
  • It is better to see 'common intention' constructive trusts as simply express trusts which lacked being in writing and therefore failed.
  • Now, the court imposes a common intention constructive trust based on the intention of the parties. It can look at actual and implied intention, but not imputed intention (ie, where the parties did not actually have the intention, but court says they should have had).
  • There was no such intention here and therefore there is no constructive trust.


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