Greed and the Family Cottage

Tannahill Lockhart & Clark Law Case Studies

Greed and the Family Cottage

Our client, who we will call Bob* owned a family cottage property with his Aunt, with two cottages being on the same piece of land. Both Bob and his aunt enjoyed each other’s company and shared expenses of the joint piece of land over the years.

The Greedy Son
Eventually, Bob’s aunt started to get older and spent less time at the cottage. Bob paid for the insurance and upkeep of the cottage for the entire property for a number of years, with the understanding that his Aunt would eventually pay him back. Unfortunately, the Aunt died and her son, who we will call George, wanted to sell the property. Bob had been spending less time at the property so he didn’t mind selling, however, he wanted to be paid the half of the costs that he paid for his Aunt. George refused.

The Result
We started a lawsuit on Bob’s behalf and using the legal concept of a constructive trust, were able to advance his claim even though the regular two year limitation period had passed to sue. Bob was able to get George to pay a favourable settlement, and recoup most of his costs.

PLEASE NOTE: Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results and that the amount recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.