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 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.
A number of different pieces of legislation may need to be considered when a relationship has ended.
There are different automatic rights to occupy the home depending on whether the tenancy is held jointly or by one partner only.
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.
An exclusion order will only be granted where there has been or there is a threat of physical or emotional abuse.
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.
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.
There may be transactions that might cause problems with occupancy rights.
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.
Last updated: 29 December 2014