What Are The Legal Implications of Council House Tenants Splitting Up?

This blog answers the question “What Are the Legal Implications of Council House Tenants Splitting Up?”When council house tenants split up, the rental agreements which they have signed together get cancelled. This blog also explains the other legal implications of council house tenants splitting up.

What Are The Legal Implications of Council House Tenants Splitting Up?

The legal Implications of two council house tenants splitting up affect their assets, finances and their tenancy agreements. The exact result of a divorce depends on whether both partners would rather terminate their rental agreements or decide for one to remain living on the property.

At the time council house tenants file for a divorce and the court delivers the final judgement in their case, a court order is used to decide what happens to the tenancy agreements they have signed jointly as a couple. Before council house tenants get separated it is recommended for them to agree on the division of assets and rights between the two, so disputes are unlikely to arise.

In a fixed tenancy the landlord decides if they can permit one of the partner’s to remain living as a tenant on the property. You can also decide to modify a rolling tenancy agreement by choosing to terminate the joint tenancy, this can be done unilaterally by issuing a notification.

What happens when council house tenants on a fixed tenancy decide to split up?

When council house tenants on a fixed tenancy decide to split up, you need to decide which one of you will end up moving out. As you agree on a candidate successfully, you can request your landlord to agree to rent to the partner who will stay back.

Your landlord doesn’t have to agree to your request but it is worth a try. Other options available to you in case your partner refuses to consent with you are applying for a rental agreement. You can apply for a rental agreement in the following situations:

  • Your landlord declines to modify your lease agreement
  • Your lease does not permit relocation

Can either partner choose to terminate a (rolling tenancy) rental lease unilaterally after they have split up?

Yes, either partner can choose to terminate the rental lease unilaterally after they split up.The consent of your landlord is still required for this “termination of lease”

If you want to modify your rental agreement in your name, you have 3 options:

  • You can terminate your joint tenancy and conclude a new rental agreement in your sole name
  • Changing the names on a lease through a process called “reassignment” by adding a third party to the rental agreement for replacing your partner
  • You can go to court

For the “Termination of the lease” you have to have the consent of your ex partner and landlord. 

You may be able to end your joint lease immediately and get a new one in your name only. Your landlord must agree to this change. This is called “termination of the lease”.

Your ex partner can also end the lease without your consent by terminating the agreement.If either of you does this, the lease expires jointly for both of you. Even if you haven’t discussed it with your ex partner before applying for the termination of the lease, it will end for them too.

What is the procedure for applying for a divorce?

The procedure of applying for a divorce includes making an application for divorce. To complete this application you need:

  • The name and address of your spouse or civil partner

There is a £593 fee to apply for a divorce which is required to be paid along with your application request.

For the divorce application, you need:

  • The original certificate or attested copy of your marriage certificate 
  • A proof of name change document, in case your name has been modified after your marriage. This document can also be your marriage certificate or tenancy agreement

You will also be requested by the court to provide your partner’s current address to notify them about the divorce petition being filed by you by delivering them a copy. If your provide their personal email address, the court will send a copy of the divorce petition in the form of an email attachment

Following this your application will be verified. If your case is approved you and your partner will receive:

  • a message or notification that your request has been sent 
  • a copy of your application stamped by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service 
  • a “proof of confirmation” from the court
  • a case number for your divorce

You have to wait 20 weeks. After this time, you and your husband or wife can continue the divorce by requesting a conditional decision.

If you are the only candidate to have applied Your question is being verified. If it is correct you will receive:

  • a message that your request has been delivered
  • a transcript of your application stamped by HMCTS
  • a case number for your divorce

The court will also communicate a divorce request letter to your spouse or civil partner.Your spouse needs to reply to this confirmation notice within a period of 14 days, mentioning whether he or she consents to having a divorce or not.

Can I change the names on my tenancy agreement, with the consent of my former partner?

If you have an insured lease or an insured temporary lease, you may be able to change the names on your lease without getting a new lease – this is called “assignment” of your lease.

You can assign your lease to yourself – this means you are the only person on the lease. Your ex partner must agree.

You can assign your lease, unless your lease agreement states that this is not allowed. Usually, you need to get the landlord’s permission to assign the lease. go to court

You can ask the court to change your ex-spouse’s tenancy to your name or to remove his name from a joint tenancy.

​You can ask for a “lease modification” if your landlord and your ex-partner also do not agree:

You can ask the court for a new lease in your name or to transfer the lease to you entirely.

How do I finalise my divorce?

To end your marriage permanently you must apply for “One last order”]. You need to apply for an Absolute decree if the court has issued your divorce petition before April 6, 2022 to end your marriage.

You need to wait for at least 43 days  from the issuance of the conditional order or nisi before requesting the court to annul your marriage.You can also choose to apply for a final decision as the sole applicant

After you have applied, the courts will verify that:

  • Your request conforms to the mentioned deadline for applications
  • no other person opposes the divorce

The court will send you and your ex partner copies of the final order 

If a lawyer is acting for you, the final order or absolute judgement will be sent to them.You have to request a copy of the judgement from them.

Once you receive the final injunction or absolute decree, you are divorced.. You are now free to marry again if you wish to do so

What should I do if my former partner is behaving in a  violent or abusive manner with me after the divorce?

If your former partner is behaving violently or in an abusive manner with you after your divorce you need to prevent them from coming back home with you, this can be done by applying for:

  • A “non-molecular order” for protecting you or your children from harmful or violent activities of your ex partner
  • An ‘occupation order’ granting you the right to stay at your home and to prevent your ex partner from coming back home with you.

You can receive this protection regardless of whether you are engaged,  in a civil partnership or simply living together. You are also permitted to send an application for these court orders if you have temporarily left your home.

Along with your application you can make a request for urgent protection. In this situation you will have two court hearings in the presence of your ex partner. Here the court may choose to issue an “interim distribution order.

 Following this you need to return to the court to attend a final hearing and your ex partner also needs to be present in front of you.

At the end of final the hearing, the court decides:

  • That your ex partner either has or does not have a promise they have decided to enforce as a result of the proceedings. This action could be deciding to leave your home
  • That the court needs you to provide more information. You may receive a short-term injunction from the court protecting you until you provide these details
  • To issue an occupancy order. This occupancy order will mention who can enter the house or stay in it

You will receive a copy of each court order in your mail. It will mention in detail which restrictions have been applied to your partner as a result of the court proceedings. An occupation order will be communicated or handed over to your ex partner in person. Your lawyer can give your ex partner a copy of the occupation order.


This blog post addressed the question “What are the Legal Implications of Council House Tenants Splitting Up?The ownership of the property is transferred to either one of them according to their personal decision at the time of divorce. The tenants need to be made to sign an agreement laying out their consent for the settlement.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :What Are the Legal Implications of  Council House Tenants Splitting Up?

What happens if your husband or wife lacks mental capacity?

You can also file for divorce if your partner is “incompetent” and cannot consent to a divorce or participate in the divorce proceedings.

Your husband or wife needs to have someone to make decisions on their behalf during the divorce. This person acting on their behalf is called a “friend of the process”. The “friend of the process” can be a relative, close friend or someone else.

If no one is qualified and willing to be your litigant, you can ask the court to appoint a litigant themselves.The official attorney may also agree to act as your husband’s or wife’s litigant  if no one else volunteers to do so.

You can then apply for a divorce by following these steps:

  • By making sure no one else is able or willing to act as your partner’s litigant.
  • By checking that there are finances for any fees the official lawyer has to pay in your case..
  • By providing the court with your partner’s doctor or general practitioner’s contact details so that they can easily apply for a certificate of legal capacity (through their doctor)

In case the official lawyer consents to act as counsel for your husband or wife, you can file for divorce.

How do I apply for a conditional order or decree nisee if the court refuses my divorce request?

You can apply for a conditional order if the court refuses your divorce request by:

  • Completing a statement which declares that what you said in your divorce petition is true
  • Attaching a copy of your partner’s response to your divorce request to your application

If you filed for divorce online, you can also apply for a decree nisee online.

For the postal application, complete the nisi decree request form and send it in with the declaration statement. This procedure applies if the court filed your petition for divorce before April 6, 2022

If the judge agrees with you the court will send you and your husband or wife a certificate. This might take several weeks.

The certificate mentions the date and time of a conditional decision or a nisi decision.

You will stay married after receiving this conditional decision

You have to wait 43 days before you can actually file for divorce to permanently end your marriage.


The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020

Matrimonial Causes Act 1973