If your relationship with your partner, spouse, civil partner or joint tenant breaks down, you may need to decide who is going to remain living in the property and take over the tenancy.

Under the Matrimonial Homes Act, when tenants are married, are in a civil partnership or cohabitees, they both have a right to stay in the home. 

If it is not a joint tenancy, the husband or wife of the tenant has what is called 'occupancy rights' .

These rights include the following: 

  • You have the right to live in and return to the home
  • You can only be made to leave the home by an order from the Court   
  • The tenant needs your permission (consent) if they want to give up the tenancy or apply for a transfer or mutual exchange
  • You can apply to the Court to have the tenancy put in your name. Also, both partners can apply to the Courts to evict the other if they are abusive (an exclusion order)

If your relationship is going through a difficult time and you are leaving the home temporarily, you should notify your local Housing Officer.  Your Housing Officer can offer support and assistance in relation to other housing options and specialist support.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse West Dunbartonshire Council offer advice via this link: No Home for Domestic Abuse

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