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In an era of skyrocketing property prices, many parents are eager to help their children realise their dream of home ownership by providing them with funds.

Often, it’s unclear whether this financial contribution is a gift, a loan or an offer with strings attached. This lack of clarity may lead to disputes and is when the dream turns into a nightmare.

Your child’s separating spouse may be making a claim against the home or the child may be facing insolvency or your child’s relationship with their parent sours.  In this case, the parent usually wishes to claw back the money they have contributed.

The matter

Recently, Robertson Hayles Lawyers was instructed to act urgently on behalf of a parent seeking to claim an interest in a property registered in the child’s sole name. It was on the basis that the parent had contributed substantial funds towards the purchase of the property. It was a matter of urgency as the child had moved quickly, already placing the property on the market and had applied to the land office to remove the parent’s caveat previously registered on the title.

How we resolved the case

In response, we prepared an application to the Supreme Court of Western Australia supported by the parent’s affidavit.

After an urgent hearing, we secured a court order extending the parent’s caveat on the title of the property, preventing the home from being sold by the child.

Being a generous person is admirable, but protecting your interests while helping others is advisable. Robertson Hayles Lawyers can assist you or your family members with the preparation of loan documents and the lodgement of caveats or mortgages required to protect the interests of the financial provider before hard-earned dollars are handed over.

Contact us

Alternatively, if there is a dispute, we have the capability to assist with court representation on an urgent basis.

You can contact us on 08 9325 1700 or by email at

For more information, please see this informative article from the AFR below:

How to help your child buy a home without losing yours