The Impact of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996

The doctrine of conversion has been abrogated. For allintents and purposes, the beneficiary’s interest in the property subject to trust is now regarded as one which is directly linked to the use of the property.4 As such the courts are required by the TLATA to take the use-value of the property into consideration when approached to make an order for sale. This paper examines the impact of the TLATA on the courts when required to consider making an order for the sale of property held subject to a trust.The doctrine of conversion arose out of a concept that once a man delegated his realty to trustees his intention was to benefit from its conversion to some sort of liquid value.5 However, the courts began to take a position which increasingly recognized that the beneficiary under a trust of realty went beyond the monetary value of the property.6 This was particularly so in cases where a beneficiary actually occupied the property in question or had a right or intention to occupy the land. For instance in Williams Glyns Bank v Boland [1981] AC 487 the Court of Appeal determined that although only the husband’s name appeared on the title deeds to the matrimonial home, the wife who had provided part of the initial deposit for the purchase price acquired an interest that went beyond the proceeds of the sale. 7 The wife was found to have a right to occupy the premises.8“Where land is held by trustees subject to a trust for sale, the land is not to be regarded as personal property. and where personal property is subject to a trust for sale in order that the trustees may acquire land, the personal property is not to be regarded as land.”9Section three, therefore, provides the legislative justification for courts to take into account the modern domestic view of the property. It is consistent with the approach taken by the courts over the years.