Paying for your home when a relationship ends

You may be entitled to support whether you rent or own your home. Find out how to maximise your income and afford the home.

Get help paying the rent

There are things you can do if you can’t afford the rent when your partner moves out.

Apply for benefits

Your rent can be paid through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit if you qualify for help.

Check if you're entitled to benefits

Use the Turn2us benefit calculator

You’ll need information on your household’s:

  • income and savings

  • outgoings, such as rent

  • existing benefits and pensions

  • council tax bill

Get help managing your money

Services that can help with budgeting, applying for benefits, and debt:

You can also get help paying rent through the Discretionary Housing Payment. You will only qualify for this if you already receive Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.

If you already receive benefits, make sure you tell whoever pays the benefits that someone has moved out of your home.

Get money advice

A money adviser can work with you to improve your finances and help you to keep your home. They will look at different options to reduce your costs and maximise your income.

Speak to the Money Advice Service or Citizens Advice. They provide free, independent money advice.

Apply for a court order

If you need someone to pay their share of the rent, you may be able to apply for a court order. You can do this even if they have moved out.

A court order can be used to decide who has to pay the rent.

You can apply for a court order if you are:

  • married or in a civil partnership or

  • you have occupancy rights granted in court

To go to court, you will need to get a family law solicitor.

If none of these apply, you can still claim money from someone in court. A simple procedure action is used to make claims under £5000. Find out how to make a simple procedure claim.

To get a court order against a spouse or civil partner you will need to get a family law solicitor.

Get legal help

Find a solicitor from the Law Society of Scotland or the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

Get legal help for free or at a lower cost from a law centre.

Paying for a solicitor or court costs

Legal action can be expensive. You may be entitled to some financial help. This is called legal aid.

You can check if you qualify for this on the Scottish Legal Aid Board website or by asking your solicitor.

You can also try arbitration, mediation or counselling to resolve a dispute. These can help you come to an agreement about your home.


Get help paying the mortgage

There are things you can do if you are struggling to afford the mortgage when your partner moves out.


Apply for benefits

You can receive certain benefits when you own your home. However, you cannot claim Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit to pay for a mortgage.

Other options include:

You will need to speak to a money adviser before you can apply for these. Money Advice Service and Citizens Advice provide free, independent money advice.

A money adviser can also work with you to improve your finances and help you to keep your home. They will look at lots of different options to reduce your costs and maximise your income.

You can get advice on mortgage arrears if you are getting into debt with your mortgage lender.

Apply for a court order


If you need someone to pay their share of the mortgage, you may be able to apply for a court order. You can do this even if they have moved out.

A court order can be used to decide who has to pay the mortgage.

You can apply for a court order if you are:

  • married or in a civil partnership or

  • you have occupancy rights granted in court

If none of these apply, you can still claim money from someone in court. A simple procedure action is used to make claims under £5000. Find out how to make a simple procedure claim.

To get a court order against a spouse or civil partner you will need to get a family law solicitor.

Get legal help

Find a solicitor from the Law Society of Scotland or the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

Get legal help for free or at a lower cost from a law centre.

Paying for a solicitor or court costs

Legal action can be expensive. You may be entitled to some financial help. This is called legal aid.

You can check if you qualify for this on the Scottish Legal Aid Board website or by asking your solicitor.

You can also try arbitration, mediation or counselling to resolve a dispute. These can help you come to an agreement about your home.

Get a council tax reduction

You may qualify for a 25% council tax discount if:

  • you live alone

  • you are the only adult in your home

  • you live with someone who is exempt from paying council tax, such as a full time student

Your local council can tell you if you are eligible for a reduction. Find out more about council tax reductions and apply.

Get child support payments

If you have children with someone, they may have to provide financial support for them.

Check what support you are entitled to on the UK Government’s child maintenance checker.

You can get help through the Child Maintenance Service if you can’t reach an agreement with the other parent. They can also help when the other parent doesn’t make payments.

Speak to the Child Maintenance Service on 0800 953 0191.

You can get advice on using the Child Maintenance Service from Citizens Advice.

If you can't afford to stay in the home

If you can’t afford the home after a relationship ends, then you may need to look at other housing options.

Make a homeless application to the council.

Get information on finding somewhere else to live.

Contact a housing adviser at Shelter Scotland if you need to discuss where you will live in the future.

Last updated: 30 June 2021

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England

Get homeless help from the council

The council must help if you are homeless or likely to become homeless in the next two months.

Get emergency help from the council