Registration of Title: It’s Never As It Seems
Reasons for judgement were released a few days ago in the case Wachter v. Carlson. One of the plaintiffs was a parent to one of the defendants. The case was about the purchase of a house, where the plaintiffs paid both the down payment and the cost of maintaining the house.
For various reasons, however, only the defendants were registered on the title. The parties’ relationship deteriorated, and the plaintiffs sued for a declaration of Unjust Enrichment and a transfer of the title to them.
They were successful. The Court held that the plaintiffs’ behaviour was consistent with beneficial ownership, but the behaviour of the defendants was such that they were unjustly enriched.
One thing that emerges from this case is that, in a purchase of land, there can be any number of reasons for title to be registered as it is. But that does not mean the form of registration is permanent. The Court will examine all the evidence to conclude what interests the parties truly have in the property.
This ad appeared in the Richmond News on October 5, 2012.