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Housing rights of cohabiting joint tenants

This content applies to England & Wales

Cohabiting couples who are joint tenants or joint licensees and whose relationship has broken down. Rights to occupy the home under family and housing law. Protecting those rights in the short and long term, and financial issues and considerations.

The section refers to all couples, whether heterosexual, lesbian or gay, unless stated otherwise. For most purposes, lesbian or gay couples that have become civil partners are treated in the same way as married heterosexual couples, and their position is dealt with in the section on Married/civil partner: joint tenant. For more information about relationship breakdown and domestic violence, see the section on Domestic violence.

Relationship breakdown law

For cohabiting couples experiencing a relationship breakdown who are joint tenants or joint licensees, the relevant legislation is a combination of family and housing law. 

Occupation orders for cohabiting joint tenants

Different ways in which occupation disputes can be resolved between joint tenants and licencees. 

Staying in the home long term

Ways in which decisions can be made as to who stays in the home in the long term. 

Paying rent

Liability for rent following the breakdown of a relationship. 

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