Being able to find an affordable place to live after a divorce is one of the additional financial responsibilities that one is faced with. This blog post mainly focuses on how someone can rent an apartment after a divorce; however, we will discuss the various options available to individuals as well as assess individual circumstances that affect your living arrangement after a divorce. 

How Can I Rent An Apartment After Divorce?

You can rent an apartment after divorce by following the below suggestions:

  • considering affordable private property
  • applying for council housing
  • applying for state benefits     

The most affordable private property will still be more expensive in comparison with council housing. However, in the case of a council housing application, the claimant should either be on a low income to qualify or at risk of homelessness, mental health deterioration or living in cramped conditions after a divorce to be prioritised for housing.

Simultaneously, you can check whether you qualify for benefits such as Housing Benefit or Universal Credit if you have little to no income and savings or you are struggling with housing costs.

If you become a single parent as a result of your divorce, you may find it easier to avail of council housing options as well as claim certain benefits to pay for your living costs. 

While you may not be on priority to get a council house due to divorce from your partner; however, if your separation leads to the potential risk of being homeless or it affects your mental or physical health, the council authorities will consider you on priority for the allocation of a council house. In case of risk of homelessness, they also provide temporary shelter to claimants until a council house is available for them.

If you are a single mum with a dependent child or children, you will be considered on high priority for council housing. In addition to this, if the applicant is a teenage single mum, especially between the ages of 16-17, or they have fled domestic abuse, they will be assigned a higher priority band for council housing.

Do I Have To Leave My Council Apartment After Divorce?

If you have been living in a council house before your divorce, not only can your ex-partner be removed from the tenancy agreement upon dissolution of your relationship, you may be able to seek financial support from them as well. Your local Citizen’s Action Centre may help you with arranging financial support after you separate. In case of a divorce, tenancy transfer can be added to the divorce proceedings.

If one of the partners leaves the council premises and informs the social housing landlord or council office by serving a legal notice, the other partner will also have to leave the property.

If you are being asked to vacate the council house at the end of a relationship, you can seek an occupation order through the court that permits you to continue living under the premises especially if you are at risk of homelessness. 

What Happens To A Joint Tenancy After Divorce?

What happens to a joint tenancy agreement in the case of a divorce depends upon the nature of the tenancy.

As joint tenants both of you have the following rights:

  • Your right to stay in the property remains intact even at the end of a relationship; unless there is a court order demanding you to leave on reasonable grounds.
  • Both occupants continue to remain responsible for timely payments of rent as well as the protection of council property. 
  • If one of the partners leaves the property, the remaining partner becomes responsible for rental payments.
  • If both partners decide to vacate the premises, they will be required to pay the rent amounting to the end of the contract.

However, in the case of a fixed-term or periodic tenancy, if one joint tenant wishes to end the tenancy contract, it will end for all joint tenants living on the property. On the other hand, in the case of a rolling tenancy, you can have the tenancy agreement transferred to your name if your partner chooses to leave the house and live elsewhere. 

Can My Ex-Partner Remove Me From Our Joint Tenancy Agreement?

If you are both listed as joint tenants, your ex-partner will need an agreement from you and the landlord for your removal from the tenancy agreement. However, you should keep in mind that being listed as a joint tenant keeps you responsible for a contribution towards the house rent. 

If you are listed as the tenant and your ex-partner is listed as an occupant they will not be able to remove you from the tenancy agreement. You can simply inform your landlord of the change and ask them to draw up a fresh tenancy agreement in your name. If your partner is listed as the tenant and you as the occupant, you may have to vacate the premises and look for a place to live. 

However, if your ex-partner chooses to leave, you have the status changed through the mutual agreement of your landlord and ex-partner by having a fresh tenancy agreement drawn up.

In cases where an ex-partner’s name is to be removed from council tenancy agreements due to domestic violence, you can get help from council authorities on a priority basis.

Conclusion:

While the first option for someone with little to no income and savings looking for a place to live after a divorce is council housing due to its affordable nature, not everyone on a low income will be given priority. Therefore, one may first apply for state benefits that they qualify for, file a council housing application and consider an affordable, privately rented apartment until they are able to increase their income or move into a council house. That said, divorced individuals who are also single parents may be able to get priority for council housing and claim more benefits to pay for their living expenses.

FAQs: How Can I Rent An Apartment After Divorce

Can I claim Housing Benefit if I rent from my ex-partner?

Yes, you can claim Housing Benefit if you rent from your ex-partner. However, you should not be living in a house/flat that you shared as a couple, you do not have a child with them and you don’t share the residence with them.

What happens to a rented property during a divorce?

If both partners are listed as joint tenants in the rental agreement, they will remain equally liable to pay rent during the divorce. Therefore, they should decide who will continue to live in the rented property during and after the divorce and have the tenancy agreement transferred to their name.

Can someone live with you without being on the lease UK?

Yes, someone can live with you without being on the lease. In this way, they will not be liable for any responsibilities of a tenant.

What happens if joint tenants who are in a relationship split up?

If joint tenants split up and one of them wants to continue living in the property that they were previously in, while the other one chooses to move out, they will need to contact their landlord to have a tenancy transfer in place so that a new contract is made in the name of the residing partner. Otherwise, in case of a joint tenancy agreement in place, the partner who chooses to move out will continue to remain liable for rental payments of the property.

What happens if one person leaves a joint tenancy?

A joint tenancy does not end with one of the joint tenants moving out of the premises. They need to inform the landlord of this change in occupancy status so that the tenant who continues to live in the house assumes sole tenancy as well as the complete responsibility for rental payments. 

References:

Your rights to your rented home during divorce or dissolution | MoneyHelper

Your rights to a rented home during divorce, dissolution or separation – Rest Less

Renting: your options as a single parent – Gingerbread

Joint tenancies and relationship breakdowns – Buckles Law

What happens to your home when you separate – Citizens Advice

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