Williams and Glyn’s Bank v Boland [1981] AC 487

Key point

  • A beneficial interest in land is an overriding interest when the beneficiary is in actual occupation

Facts

  • Land was in the sole name of husband
  • His wife had contributed to the purchase and mortgage thus becoming an equitable tenant in common to the extent of her contribution
  • The husband obtained a mortgage on the house without the knowledge of the wife
  • The husband defaulted; the bank sought possession

Held (House of Lords)

  • Order for possession denied as the wife had an overriding interest

Lord Wilberforce

  • A beneficial interest under a trust for sale (now substituted by trust for land under the TLATA) can be an overriding interest when the beneficiary is in actual occupation of the property
  • The wife was a person in actual occupation within s70(i)(g) LRA 1925 (now replaced by the LRA 2002) which gave her an overriding interest to which the bank’s charge was subject so possession could not be ordered