My relationship has broken down. What are my rights?

Pages in My relationship has broken down. What are my rights?

  1. 1. My relationship has broken down. What are my rights?
  2. 2. If you own your home
  1. 3. You are here: If you rent your home

3. If you rent your home

Sole tenancy

  • A Sole tenant has the right to live in the property unless there is a court order in place which overrides that right
  • If you're married and your spouse is the sole tenant, you still have the right to live in the matrimonial home
  • If you're married and your spouse is the sole tenant but has moved out, you can still continue to live there. Although you may not be liable to pay rent, if your spouse stops paying then you may increase the chances of eviction due to rent arrears
  • If you're not married, you only have limited rights to remain
  • If you're not married but have been in a long-term relationship and have dependent children together, the courts may transfer the tenancy to the main carer of the children. Seek legal advice.

Joint tenancy

  • Joint tenants have equal rights to live in the property
  • Joint tenants cannot exclude each other from the property unless they have obtained a court order
  • Joint tenants can apply for an Occupation Order which can: allow you back into the property if your partner has illegally locked you out, stop a joint tenant from entering the property or allocate different parts of the property to each tenant. These are short term and temporary orders which are generally granted if there is current domestic abuse or a need to protect children.
  • If you are starting divorce proceedings, the tenancy can be transferred into a sole tenancy as part of the divorce settlement
  • If you're not married but have been in a long-term relationship, you can still have the tenancy transferred into a sole tenancy
  • If you have dependent children, the court is likely to transfer the tenancy to the main carer of the children
  • Joint tenancies can only be changed if one joint tenant voluntarily gives up their tenancy or a court order requires it
  • If you have a periodic tenancy and a joint tenant ends the tenancy, this will end the tenancy for all tenants