Joint tenancy and relationship breakdown

Introduction

If you have a joint tenancy and your relationship with your joint tenant has broken down and he/she has left the home, you will probably want his/her name removed from the tenancy agreement with the local authority or housing association.

Rules

If your joint tenant agrees to have their name removed, the local authority or housing association will do this. However, if they refuse to have their name removed, it is more complicated and you will have to provide evidence that the relationship has broken down.

One of the factors considered in a judicial separation, divorce or dissolution is occupation of the family/shared home. The judge can order a transfer of tenancy. If you are in a situation where a relationship is breaking down, you should seek legal advice.

If you are left living alone in the family home, the local authority or housing association may consider that your house is too big for you and offer you alternative accommodation, unless you can argue that you have occasional custody of your children and need somewhere for them to stay.

If you have left the family home and removed your name from the joint tenancy agreement, you can apply to the local authority for accommodation.

How to apply

Contact the Housing Department of your local authority or housing association.

Page edited: 31 December 2015