“I gave my daughter money to buy her property, so I should have part ownership.” Which case won?
Mother contributes to property purchase but living arrangements ambiguous
A case in New South Wales concerned a claim to part ownership of a property.
A woman obtained $147,000 by selling her home and gave the money to her daughter and son-in-law over the period between November 2012 and January 2013, for the purchase of a property in Casula, in south-western Sydney.
The daughter and son-in-law agreed the mother would live with them at the Casula property. The three had agreed that the mother would live in a separate part of the house.
However, another aspect of the arrangement was ambiguous. While the mother thought she would reside with her daughter and son-in-law forever, they thought she would stay with them long term, but not forever.
Mother evicted from property after sharing residence for three years
The mother, daughter and son-in-law lived together at the Casula property for three years, from January 2013 to January 2016.
During this time the mother contributed $18,314 to renovations of the house, while her daughter and son-in-law contributed at least $45,715 to the renovation of the property.
After sharing a residence for three years, the mother, daughter and son-in-law had a falling out and the mother was evicted from the property.
Daughter and son-in-law appeal after mother succeeds in legal action
The mother commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW to claim some charge over the property and be repaid the contributions she had made.
The mother was successful in her claim, but the daughter and son-in-law appealed to the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of NSW.
The primary question on appeal was whether the $147,000 from the mother was an absolute or conditional gift.
The secondary question on appeal was whether the $18,314 provided by the mother for renovations added to the capital value of the property.