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Civil partner tenants

This section looks at the rights civil partners have with regards to the tenancy and the home in the event that their relationship breaks down.

The law on relationship breakdown

A number of different pieces of legislation will possibly need to be considered when a relationship has ended. 

Rights to occupy the family home

Where a couple have entered into a civil partnership, both partners will be entitled to occupy the family home, regardless of which one of them is the tenant. 

Safeguarding occupancy rights

There are a number of steps that non-entitled partner or joint tenant can take to safeguard her/his occupancy rights. 

Court regulation of occupancy rights

Where two civil partners remain in the property after their relationship has broken down, either civil partner can apply to the court for an order regulating or restricting the occupancy rights of the other civil partner. 

Exclusion orders

Regardless of whether there is a sole tenant or joint tenants, if a civil partner wishes to exclude her/his partner from the family home s/he must seek a court order. 


Interdicts are court orders that can be granted to prohibit the non-applicant partner from certain conduct towards the applicant partner and any children of the family. 

Problems with occupancy rights

The civil partnerships legislation prevents a civil partner from entering into a transaction that would impact on the other civil partner's occupancy rights without their consent. 

Leaving the family home

A civil partner intending to leave the family home following the breakdown of the relationship may be entitled to housing from a local authority or registered social landlord. 

Transferring the tenancy

A non-entitled civil partner or joint tenant wishing to remain in the family home can request that the tenancy be transferred into her/his name and s/he becomes the sole tenant. 

Assigning the tenancy

If both civil partners agree, it may be possible for the entitled partner or one of the joint tenants to assign the tenancy to the non-entitled partner or the other joint tenant. 

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 29 December 2014