I want to get an ex-partner out of my home

There are ways to force an abusive ex-partner out of your home if you want to carry on living there, even if the home doesn’t belong to you and even if you've left it.

Your options depend on who has a legal right to live in the property, the status of your relationship and whether you've experienced domestic abuse.

You may need to ask a court to make a ruling on who lives in the home through a court order (an injunction):

  • an occupation order can force an abusive person out of their home
  • a transfer of tenancy order (also called a Part II order) can put the tenancy of a rental property in your name only

In any case, it's best to get legal help as soon as possible.

If they have no legal rights to your home

If you’re not married or in a civil partnership and you have sole ownership or tenancy of your home, your ex has no legal right to stay in your property. You can demand that they leave.

Your ex could ask the court to decide who stays in the home. However, if you can show they've been abusive, it's unlikely that they'd succeed.

If you have a council or housing association home

If you live in council or housing association accommodation, it’s possible that the behaviour of an abusive partner could have broken the terms of the tenancy agreement.

Your landlord might consider it enough to have them removed.

Ask the court for an occupation order

You can ask the courts to make an occupation order to keep an abusive person out of your home, even if:

  • they own or rent the home and have a legal right to be there
  • you don’t own or rent the home yourself
  • you've already left your home and want to get back in

It’s a serious step to force someone out of their home, so the court has to be satisfied that you (and any children involved) would suffer significant harm, and more than your ex would, if the order wasn't made.

Occupation orders cannot stop abusive behaviour towards you; you may also need a non-molestation order to tackle this.

You should also think about the risk that your ex will try to sell or give notice to quit the home, which could force you out too.

Court orders and other legal proceedings can stop this, but it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible about your best options. You may also be able to get legal aid.

Transfer of tenancy orders

If you’re joint tenants on a rental property or your ex-partner is the only one named on the tenancy, you can ask the court to transfer the tenancy into your name only.

You’ll need to have good reasons for it, and the court will take all the circumstances into account before making the order, including:

  • the nature and history of the tenancy
  • the needs and resources of everyone involved
  • your behaviour as tenants
  • the best interests of any children involved

The court may also ask you to compensate your ex-partner if you get the tenancy.

This order is not given for assured shorthold tenancies.

To apply for this order, get legal advice first.

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