Civil partnerships

Civil partnerships allow same-sex couples the chance to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as people who are married. Civil partnerships are only available to couples of the same sex.

Forming a civil partnership can affect your entitlement to benefits. Contact a local advice agency if you are unsure what benefits you are entitled to.

Two people can form a civil partnership if:

  • they are of the same sex
  • they aren’t already married or in another civil partnership
  • they are over sixteen (and have consent if they are under 18).

Splitting up with your partner

Civil partnerships can affect your right to stay in your home if your relationship breaks down. Civil partners who break up have the same rights as people who are married who break up. Look at families and relationships for more information on your rights if you are splitting up with a partner.

Staying in the home if your partner dies

If you rent from the council or a housing association and your civil partner dies and they are the sole tenant, you will usually have the right to stay in the home. This process is known as succession. Only one succession is allowed per tenancy, so if your partner had succeeded to the tenancy, for example following the death of a parent, you will not be able to succeed to the tenancy on your partner’s death.

You may also be able to stay in your home if you rent from a private landlord. However, this depends on your tenancy type.

If you don’t know your tenancy type read renting agreements or contact a Shelter Cymru adviser.

Passing on my tenancy during my lifetime

This process is known as assignment. If you have a secure tenancy this can be assigned to civil partners and to couples that haven’t registered a civil partnership. Normally you can’t assign other tenancy types, but it depends what it says in your agreement. If you are unsure, contact a Shelter Cymru adviser.

What about my benefits?

Civil partners are assessed in the same way as married couples. If you are currently claiming as a single person you may have to file a new claim as a couple. Contact your local benefits agency for more information if you are unsure.

Housing benefit/council tax benefit

If you are living as a same-sex couple your housing benefit could be affected, even if you haven’t formed a civil partnership. Only one person can make a claim for housing benefit and the resources of the other will be taken into account when working out your housing benefit.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
0345 075 5005

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 0345 075 5005.

This page was last updated on: June 3, 2017

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.