Housing advice


Relationship breakdown

If you are living with a partner and the relationship breaks down, you will need to decide what to do about your home when you separate.

You have the right to stay in your home if:

  • you're a tenant, including a joint tenant
  • you're married or in a civil partnership with the tenant
  • you own your home, including joint ownership
  • you're married or in a civil partnership with the homeowner

Occupancy rights

You could get occupancy rights granted in court if you have been living with your partner in their home. The courts can grant occupancy rights for 6 months at a time and this can give you time to put the home in your name or to find somewhere else to live.

This area of law is complex and you may help to get legal advice. To do this you will need to find a housing or family law solicitor you can find a solicitor via www.resolution.org.uk

You can ask a partner or ex-partner to leave but your rights to do this depend on your relationship status, and who owns or rents the home you live in.

If your partner or ex-partner has been abusive, you can ask the court to order them to stay away from you and your home. 

If someone does not agree to move out, use mediation or get legal advice from a family law solicitor to resolve a dispute.


If you and your partner or ex-partner are not talking  you can ask a mediator to help you start conversations. Mediators will not force you to do anything you do not want to do. They can help you agree on next steps.

Family Mediation Council will help you find a mediator.

You may need to consider if you can afford to manage a property alone. You may be entitled to benefits or you may need to budget your current income differently.

It is essential that you consider your financial situation before you make any decisions. 

Contact the Housing Options team

If you do not have occupation rights or you cannot afford to manage the property on one income contact the team on 0300 123 5017 (option 1) for advice and support.

If you leave home in a crisis and cannot return, you should contact the Housing Options Team on 0300 123 5017 (or 0300 123 5025 outside of office hours). 

We will help you access a temporary or refuge placement away from your previous place of residence. 

Page last reviewed: 20 May 2024