Court rules father holds Strabane house on trust for daughter

By Lenore Rice

A High Court judge has ruled that a father must honour a legal agreement in which he declared that he would hold his property on trust for his daughter, after he attempted to get out of the arrangement after a falling out.

In 2004 Dawn Rose, aged 38, and her father Bernard Rouse, aged 85, executed a declaration of trust in respect of the purchase of Mr Rouse's Housing Executive property at the discounted price of £18,450. In the legal document Ms Rouse agreed to pay all of the mortgage payments, and that her father could live in the house as long as he wanted but would only hold it on trust for her. After an argument in 2007 Mr Rouse paid off the remaining on the balance on the mortgage using backdated pension credit. He told his daughter that he didn't her help and their arrangement was cancelled.

Dawn Rose brought a claim against her father and the court upheld that the original trust document was valid and binding. Mr Justice Horner confirmed Mr Rouse's right to residence in the property and that the property was held on trust. He also encouraged the family to work out their differences.

If you require legal advice in respect of gifting or trusts from a solicitor in Northern Ireland, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 9293.