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Otis has been a hedge fund manager for 20 years, enjoying considerable success He and Maeve first met about 10 years ago at a gala: Mortgages Assignment, OU, Ireland

University The Open University (OU)
Subject Mortgages

Otis has been a hedge fund manager for 20 years, enjoying considerable success. He and Maeve first met about 10 years ago at a gala. She was particularly drawn in by his flashy demeanor, his expensive taste, and the fact that he owned a large mansion in suburban Dublin.

They soon began dating and were married within a year, Maeve having moved into Otis’ mansion. Otis is old-fashioned and asked Maeve to leave her career behind her when they married so that they could raise a family. When they initially discussed this, Maeve queried how they would continue to pay off the mortgage on the mansion.

Otis assured her that his salary was more than sufficient to enable him to continue to make the mortgage repayments, and when Maeve insisted that she at least contribute some of her inheritance, he said that she could spend the money renovating the house if she wished. Maeve was satisfied with this arrangement and focused her energies on renovating the mansion and becoming a mother.

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Families are afforded special protection in Irish law; however, until the introduction of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, this protection was focused almost exclusively on the notion of the family based on marriage, reflected in the statutory law governing the family home in Ireland.

Given the important role that the “home” plays in our lives, the legal system strives to ensure that the “family home” or the “shared home” can be protected. This can cause commercial difficulties where, for example, a bank is seeking to repossess a home, and the aim of the law relating to family/shared property is to put in place a framework that will protect the family/shared home but that will not conflict to a significant extent with the economy and other areas of the law.

The definition of “family” under the Constitution has been interpreted by the courts as meaning a family within the confines of marriage which, in modern Ireland, is a narrow framework within which to work. It makes no reference to the reality of relationships between people who claim to form what they would consider being a family together. This notion stands in direct conflict with the definition given to the family under the European Convention on Human Rights as protected by Article 8, which is much wider and recognizes the quality of the relationship that people have with each other.

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As mentioned already, a number of people can have interests in the same piece of land at the same time. When a number of people have proprietary interests in the same piece of land they are said to be co-owners and the rules and obligations of co-ownership dictate what the co-owners can do in relation to matters such as alienation and possession of the land.

The most common types of co-ownership nowadays are joint tenancy and tenancy in common. The word tenancy should not be taken to indicate any type of leasehold relationship and this area of law has no direct relationship to the landlord and tenant relationship. Rather the use of the word tenancy reflects a root in feudal tenure.

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