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Trust or trussed?

Has the demise of s 30 of the Law of Property Act 1925 made decisions on the sale of co-owned property simpler? asks Roger Smithers

29 November 2002

To most non-specialist practitioners, law students and probably some judges, the trust for sale seemed an arcane concept, as dry and remote as much of the 1925 legislation which had produced it. However, although the trust for sale was only ever a convenient conveyancing device for co-owned property, its pivotal position in disputes where there were tussles between co-owners, or between one of them and chargees of one sort or another, often produced classic confrontations. Typically, a creditor or other applicant for sale of co-owned property stood opposed to persons in occupation who resisted it. The potential for the poignant human dramas often played out in court is obvious. Before January 1997, a dispute concerning the exercise of the powers of trustees holding co-owned land under a trust for sale was often decided by an application to the court made under s 30 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (LPA 1925). This section gave the courts a wide (if statutorily unparticularised) discret...

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