Insufficient evidence that respondent's efforts were responsible for increase in value of property

Restitution and Unjust Enrichment - General Principles - Requirements for unjust enrichment

Applicant and B were in common law relationship, during which they purchased property. Applicant and B had daughter, who was respondent. B died in fire that destroyed home. In holograph will, B left estate to respondent, including his interest in property. Debris from fire was cleared, and 35 acres of farm land were rendered arable. Property was sold in 2015 for $399,000. Parties agreed to equal division of $243,000, representing 2009 appraisal of property, time frame being reflective of approximate date of death of B. Applicant sought division of net proceeds of sale, which were held in trust. It was determined that net proceeds would be distributed equally; respondent's claims for unjust enrichment and unequal division of net proceeds dismissed. Parties owned property as tenants in common with unspecified ownership interest. Parties were each presumptively entitled to half of remaining net proceeds of sale. Respondent failed to provide sufficient evidence that her efforts were responsible for increase in value of property from 2009 to 2015. Respondent's contributions were not sufficiently substantial to reach even minimal threshold capable of supporting finding of unjust enrichment.

Boyer v. Boyer (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 2929, 2019 ONSC 1425, Hélène C. Desormeau J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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