Bid to claim ownership of homes fails

News|July 30th 2014

The father of property developer made bankrupt in 2011 has failed in his bid to claim ownership of 16 properties in Coventry.

Tarlochan Singh was made bankrupt “in respect of monies due” following building work on his home.

Most of the properties owned by Mr Singh were small houses let to students and there were also larger homes.

His father, Chanan Singh Thandi, claimed ownership of the properties, saying that he was beneficiary of a trust established by his son in 2003. He argued that the properties should not have been included in the bankruptcy proceedings, relying on a deed of trust allegedly signed in 2003 when his son bought the larger properties. Mr Thandi said he had bought all the properties himself and the deed of trust had been an acknowledgement of this.

He applied for the return of the properties, an account of the steps taken by the bankruptcy trustees to look after the properties and damages for losses incurred by the bankruptcy proceedings.

The bankruptcy trustees denied that they were responsible for any losses and questioned the validity of the deed, both with regards to its date and the agreements it expressed.

Sitting in the Chancery Division of the High Court in Birmingham, Judge David Cooke said Mr Thandi had not made it clear when or how he and his son had agreed the properties would belong to him. He had to prove this ‘common intention’.

The judge concluded that the Mr Thandi was “unreliable”. He had not been able to supply supporting documentation and the court did not believe his claims.

Judge Cooke noted that Mr Singh, Mr Thandi’s son, had previously claimed ownership of the properties when applying for a mortgage and in tax returns submitted to HMRC.

The evidence suggested that the deed had in fact been drawn up in 2006 and subsequently backdated, he added.

The judge said:

“The evidence of Mr Thandi and Tarlochan Singh is in my view self serving and not to be relied on unless independently supported.”

Read the full judgement here.

Photo of Coventry Cathedral by Andrew Walker via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence


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