Housing information and advice

Relationship breakdown and housing

Splitting up from a partner can be a very difficult time. If you’re in this situation and your home is at risk, you need to act quickly. There are options and rights that you have but this area of law is very complex and you may need to get legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in family law. Whatever you decide to do, always think about your safety and seek advice as soon as possible.

If the relationship breakdown involves domestic abuse you can get help.

Please remember:

  • act safely
  • get advice as soon as you can
  • if you are experiencing domestic abuse you can get support - call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone helpline - 0808 2000 247

Talk to Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse

The Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership (known as BDAP) has a useful website with lots of advice and guidance. There’s also a 24-hour national free phone helpline - 0808 2000 247.

Talk to us

You can also come to our offices in Dunstable or Chicksands, during office hours, or call our out of hours number - 0300 300 8098. If you are unable to return home and don’t have anywhere else to go, we may be able to help you with temporary housing.

Talk to Signpost

If you’ve been a victim of crime you can also contact Signpost on 0800 0282 887 or visit their website – they can help you to find legal advice about your housing situation.

If you're renting

If you live in a rented home and you are separating from your partner, your rights to remain in or return to the home or to make your partner leave will depend on whether you are married or in a civil partnership and whose name is on the tenancy agreement.

If you're married or in a civil partnership

If you are married or in a civil partnership with someone who is an owner, you have home rights. This is a legal term that generally means you can live in your home as if you were the owner.

If you're not the sole or joint tenant/owner

If you are living with someone but are not the sole or joint tenant or owner, you will need to apply for an occupation order if you want to get home rights, which would allow you to stay in the home. Home rights will only last as long as the occupation order does.

If you're a join tenant in council housing

If you’re a Central Bedfordshire tenant with a joint tenancy, we can offer you advice and guidance, but we cannot get involved or decide who remains in the property. You will need to seek advice from a family law solicitor. They can give you advice and help you to decide if you need to go to court for an occupation order.