If you are a joint tenant then you have the right to stay in your home. The other joint tenant has the same rights as you to stay in the home. If one joint tenant gives the correct notice to quit to your landlord, the tenancy will end for both of you, so if you think you want to stay in the property it is best to prevent this from happening. If you think there is a risk of your partner serving a Notice to Quit without your consent, you should take urgent advice from a family law solicitor about obtaining a court order preventing your partner from ending the joint tenancy and transferring it into your sole name.
If you and your partner can agree who should stay in the home then one tenant may be able to assign the tenancy to the other. Not all tenancies can be assigned – check whether your tenancy agreement says you can assign, or get advice.
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If you or your partner want to leave the property and bring to an end your obligations as a tenant, one of you can serve a valid Notice to Quit to the landlord. This will end the tenancy for both joint tenants. If no Notice to Quit is served and one partner leaves, then the tenancy will continue for both joint tenants. Both of you remain jointly liable for the rent, so, unless the partner who has left contributes, the remaining tenant will have to continue paying all the rent, otherwise they could risk being evicted.
If you and your partner can’t agree who will stay in the home, then you will have to settle the issue in court. The decisions the court can make will depend on your circumstances, for example your finances, whether you have alternative accommodation, and whether you have children.
If you decide to go to court, the court may decide to transfer the tenancy from a joint to a sole tenancy in either you or your partner’s name. In some cases, the court will order compensation to be paid to the partner who leaves the home if they consider that person has lost out financially because of the transfer.