Stopping your partner from giving notice
If you are a joint tenant and the other joint tenant gives notice to your landlord, the tenancy will end for both of you. If you want to keep your tenancy from ending, it is important to try to prevent this from happening, as once the correct notice has been given, it’s very difficult to reverse.
If your partner is a tenant, but wants to end the tenancy, what you can do to prevent this depends on your relationship status.
Married or in a civil partnership
If you are married to or in a civil partnership with the tenant and you want to keep your tenancy, but you suspect that your partner is going to end it, it is essential that you let your landlord know immediately that you would like to stay on. Your landlord is not obliged to let you stay on, but there are legal steps you can take to transfer the tenancy into your name only. This can include applying for an injunction to prevent a tenant from serving a Notice to Quit. The application can be made in various ways, including making an application when you apply for a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, or when an application is made for the benefit of your children. If you need to do this, you will need to get advice from a solicitor specialising in family law.
Living with partner (cohabiting)
When a tenant leaves and a cohabiting non-tenant stays, most types of tenancy will come to an end. This can be prevented, however, if the non-tenant gets an occupation order before the tenant leaves. If you suspect your partner wants to end the tenancy and you’d like to stay in the home, speak to an adviser immediately who can tell you whether an occupation order is the best course of action. If the court grants you an occupation order, many types of tenancy will last as long as the order does. This would give you enough time to apply to the courts for the tenancy to be transferred into your name.
This course of action may only be worthwhile if you have a more secure type of tenancy such as assured, secure or protected/regulated (see the pages on Tenancy types if you’re not sure what sort of tenancy you have). If you’re an assured shorthold tenant with a private landlord, you may be advised that your tenancy isn’t worth fighting for, as the landlord can evict you much more easily. If you’re an assured shorthold tenant and you’d like to stay in your home, it may be enough to talk to your landlord, explain the situation, and ask if they can grant a new tenancy in your name.