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Cohabiting tenants

This section looks at the different ways of resolving disputes between cohabiting couples over who can/will remain in the home if their relationship has ended.

The family home

The rights that a cohabiting couple have in relation to their home will often depend upon whether the property can be defined as a family home. 

The law on relationship breakdown

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

Rights to occupy the home

There are different automatic rights to occupy the home depending on whether the tenancy is held jointly or by one partner only. 

Court regulation of occupancy rights

While awaiting decisions about the long- term tenancy arrangements following the breakdown of a relationship, there may be occasions when the couple remain in the home together. 

Exclusion orders

An exclusion order will only be granted where there has been or there is a threat of physical or emotional abuse. 

Domestic interdicts

A domestic interdict is a court order that can be used to prohibit the non-applicant partner from certain conduct towards the applicant partner and any children of the family. 

Safeguarding occupancy rights

Where there are joint tenants and the court has given permission, either of them can carry out non-essential repairs or improvements to the home. 

Problems with occupancy rights

There may be transactions that might cause problems with occupancy rights. 

Staying in the home long term

Where a cohabitant is non-entitled or s/he is a joint tenant, s/he will need to have the tenancy transferred into her/his name only if s/he wished to remain in the property long term. 

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 29 December 2014