Proprietary Estoppel

Proprietary estoppel is a fair, or equitable, remedy to stop the legal owner of a property from asserting their strict legal positon when it would be unfair or inequitable for him to do so.

For a successful claim of proprietary estoppel, the claimant must show that an assurance was made, which was relied upon to the claimant’s detriment. 

An example of proprietary estoppel

An example of proprietary estoppel would be if a farmer told his son that ‘all of this will be yours one day’ and so the son worked long hours to build up the farm on minimum wage over many years, only for the farmer to then give the farm away to a third party. 

What does a court do in proprietary estoppel claims?

The court would look at the circumstances as a whole, along with the evidence put forward, and would consider if it would be unconscionable not to allow a proprietary estoppel claim.

I think I have a proprietary estoppel claim – what do I?

Proprietary estoppel claims are complex, especially as the assurance made is usually verbal with little in the way of physical evidence. As such it is important that the correct legal advice is taken at an early stage. Talk to a solicitor to see whether they agree you have a claim.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.