Proprietary estoppel

An estoppel preventing a person from refusing to grant an interest in land to another, where the person has knowingly acquiesced in or encouraged the other’s taking possession of and/or outlaying money on the land in the expectation of acquiring an interest in it.

As such, proprietary estoppel is a remedy which operates to restrict the unconscionable assertion of legal title. It works where a party has suffered a detrimental reliance on the inducement of assumption from the legal title holder. For proprietary estoppel to arise, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The legal title owner must have requested or allowed the relying party to spend money on the land in question
  2. The legal title owner must have created or allowed an assumption that the relying party would be entitled to remain on the land
  3. The relying party must have suffered a detriment from relying on the assumption induced by the legal title owner