My partner and I rent our home but we have broken up – who gets to stay?
When a couple separates and they rent a property jointly it is not easy to decide who should leave, especially when both want to be able to stay and for the other to leave.
One option is to serve notice on the landlord and for both to vacate and obtain new accommodation but sometimes this is not possible or both people do not want to move.
Firstly each individual should consider their financial circumstances. If one person can afford to stay in the property and the other cannot then this needs to be factored into the decision making. If the landlord will only rent to one of you then that also helps you to decide.
Secondly each individual should consider how they will house themselves in they are not to stay in the rented accommodation. If you cannot afford to rent somewhere else and would require the assistance of the Local Authority then if you choose to leave your rented accommodation then you may be considered to have made yourself ‘voluntarily homeless’ and the Local Authority may not assist you. You should always check with them first before making any decisions.
Finally if you cannot agree between the two of you who should go then one of you can apply to the Court for an order for transfer of tenancy. The Court can transfer the tenancy into the name of one person. They can only do this if the tenancy is held between two people.
The Court must consider the circumstances in which either or both became a tenant under the tenancy and the suitability of each of them as tenants.
The Court must also consider the housing needs and housing resources of each of the parties and of any relevant child and the financial resources of each of the parties. It must also consider the likely effect of any order, on the health, safety or well-being of the parties and of any relevant child.
If the parties are not married then the Court will also consider the nature of the parties’ relationship and the level of commitment, the length of time that they have cohabited for, if there are any children that either are responsible for and any length of time that has elapsed since the parties ceased living together if they no longer do so.