Equity and Trusts: Proprietary Estoppel. 

The work is to be 6 pages with three to five sources, with in-text citations and a reference page. Tony and Christopher had reached an oral agreement regarding the right to purchase part of the property for the purpose of Christopher’s development plans. In reliance on this agreement and Tony’s assurances regarding an imminent sale, Christopher obtained planning permission.

Tony’s wife is claiming that Theodore and Christopher have no proprietary rights in the Property. Christopher and Theodore’s rights have not been registered and both arrangements were agreed orally, therefore the following issues are in contention:

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Both Theodore and Christopher’s rights were orally agreed and Section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 (the 1989 Act) provides that “a contract for the sale or other disposition of an interest in land can only be made in writing and only by incorporating all the terms, which the parties have expressly agreed in one document or, where the contracts have been exchanged, in each”.

The essence of Section 2 is the requirement that the contract must be in writing and contain all the terms expressly agreed to and be signed by both parties. If the rules are not complied with, there will be no contract.

In the past, failure to comply with the written requirements was remedied by equity when there had been a part performance of a contract (Cooke, 2006). Whilst there is no express provision in the 1989 Act specifically abolishing part performance, there has been an assumption that the doctrine is no longer applicable as section 2 clearly renders oral contracts void.

The Law Commission acknowledged that there must be some remedy available where an individual acts to their detriment on the assumption that there is a valid contract in force and asserted that the appropriate remedy was proprietary estoppel rather than part performance (Law Commission Paper Number 163).

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