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Resolving occupation disputes

This content applies to England & Wales

Ways in which occupation disputes can be resolved.

In some cases, it may not be possible for the couple to live together, or one partner might refuse to allow the other to occupy the property. If the couple cannot agree what to do with the property, they will have to apply to the court to resolve the situation. In the long term, for example, a tenant may take action under housing law to alter the tenancy position without involving the courts, or the court may transfer a tenancy under matrimonial/family law. In the short term, the court can make an occupation order under the Family Law Act 1996 setting out, for example, who can live at the property or ordering one of the spouses/civil partners to leave. Occupation orders are available to sole tenants, sole licensees and their spouses/civil partners.

Occupation orders under FLA 1996

Occupation orders that can be granted under the Family Law Act 1996. 

Eligibility to apply

Eligibility for an occupation order. 

One spouse/civil partner is tenant

Occupation orders where one spouse or civil partner is the tenant/licensee. 

Former spouses/civil partners

Occupation orders for former spouses and civil partners 

Neither has the right to occupy

Occupation orders where neither spouse or civil partner or former spouse or former civil partner has a right to occupy. 

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