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AIBU wanting to end joint tenancy and make it solo?

(32 Posts)
Jaym2017 Tue 31-Jan-17 20:37:16

Husband moved out on Friday. We are joint tenants of a council property and have had joint tenancy for 19 years (2 councils as we did an exchange but just under 10 years here).

As I understand it, if he wanted to walk back in and force me out - he could. So as he left, I've asked for the tenancy to be changed to a solo tenancy. The council have asked for forwarding address and phone number for him as we'll both have to sign forms.

I asked him for his address for this purpose and he has requested I keep him as a joint tenant 'in case anything happens to you'... i.e. in case I die he'd be entitled to move back in with the girls. I didn't appreciate the picture he was painting to be fair, and said that the council would protect the girls if that happened and he'd be housed accordingly as their next of kin if he was unable to house them. He is living in a one room shared house property at the moment.

I went ahead and requested it. But now I'm wondering what happens if he refuses to sign?

Also AIBU? Or protecting the best interests of our 3 daughters and myself ?

Thanks for any advice / insight you can give.

dontsufferfools Tue 31-Jan-17 20:45:47

If he refuses to sign, you will have to get a court order to take him off. Its the only legal way to do it.

How likely is it he will come back to your home?

Dullboringusername Tue 31-Jan-17 21:22:25

The Council cannot just transfer the tenancy into your sole name, even if he agrees. You will either need a Court order or one of you will have to terminate the joint tenancy and the Council will need to offer you a new sole tenancy. Depending on the circumstances the Council may be prepared to do this without his agreement.

Although he can return to the property at any time as things stand, he can no more force you out than you can force him.

If there has been abuse you may be able to get an injunction to keep him away from the property - but this won't remove him from the tenancy

Jaym2017 Tue 31-Jan-17 21:25:05

Thanks - will have to see what they do and what he does I guess.
There is no abuse to document - loads of emotional but that wouldn't be something i could prove.

I don't know how likely he is to come back, but didn't want to take the risk to be honest.

happy2bhomely Tue 31-Jan-17 21:31:21

Technically, if he wanted to be a dick, he could terminate the tenancy on behalf of both of you. He also has the right to remain in the property if he wants to.

The best thing to do is get this dealt with in court as part of your divorce under the family law act. There is very useful information about this on the CAB website.

The joint tenancy has to be ended and then reassigned to you. Be very careful and get proper advice before you sign anything!

happy2bhomely Tue 31-Jan-17 21:32:41

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/relationship-problems/relationship-breakdown-and-housing/if-you-re-married-or-in-a-civil-partnership-relationship-breakdown-and-housing/if-you-re-married-or-in-a-civil-partnership-and-you-rent-your-home-relationship-breakdown-and-housing/relationship-breakdown-and-housing-transferring-a-tenancy-to-a-spouse-or-civil-partner/

Jaym2017 Tue 31-Jan-17 21:33:44

Thanks will have to look into it further, when I spoke to the council they were reassuring that I have 3 girls in a 3 bedroom property and we'd be ok.

so glad I asked now - Another worry.

I was hoping not to go down divorce road as can't afford it at the moment also so was assuming 2 years apart route, but we haven't actually discussed this yet.

happy2bhomely Tue 31-Jan-17 21:36:50

s://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/relationship-problems/relationship-breakdown-and-housing/if-you-re-married-or-in-a-civil-partnership-relationship-breakdown-and-housing/if-you-re-married-or-in-a-civil-partnership-and-you-rent-your-home-relationship-breakdown-and-housing/relationship-breakdown-and-housing-stopping-a-tenancy-ending-if-you-are-a-spouse-or-civil-partner/

happy2bhomely Tue 31-Jan-17 21:38:55

Sorry, I'm rubbish at links. You can go to court to stop him from ending your tenancy.

This happened with my mum and dad. It got complicated and the council were quite underhand. Just because one person on a phone or desk says it will be fine, don't believe them. Get everything in writing.

Dullboringusername Tue 31-Jan-17 21:58:15

If he were to terminate the tenancy unilaterally I would be surprised if the OP wasn't offered a new sole tenancy of the property. She would effectively be homeless with three children through no fault of her own. Based on what has been said the Council would have a duty, and although this could be discharged in the private sector it's likely that they would just give her a new tenancy of her home. This does depend, of course on where she lives.

MargoChanning Tue 31-Jan-17 22:02:44

Place marking as I'm in the same situation.

Jaym2017 Tue 31-Jan-17 22:05:34

I live in SW Wales - so not inner city etc. They said I was 'adequately housed' so am hopeful on that front, but am wondering about my OH and his response to this. I don't mind moving somewhere else when the girls have left home etc. I wouldn't want to rattle around in a house too big, but it's a 3 bed semi so don't envisage that being the case now. I'm just hoping now that we won't be in a situation of having to move. I would like the security of knowing it's my own place though and not going to backfire at a later date.

Jaym2017 Wed 01-Feb-17 20:31:43

Well i've heard from the council and they've spoke to him, they're not accepting my request until 'there is a definite intention of non-return' or legal proceedings.

So I may need to look at this in the future in terms of legal separation or divorce in the nearer future.

Happydappy99 Wed 01-Feb-17 20:37:58

I was in a similar situation when I separated from my husband. The Housing Association wouldn't transfer the tenancy into my sole name we it was written in the consent order as part of our divorce which was accepted by them (after they spent ages getting their own legal advice).

Lovemusic33 Wed 01-Feb-17 20:45:44

I took my husband off the tenancy without him signing anything, I had to take him off in order to claim housing benefit, I couldn't give them his new address as he was sofa surfing.

RandomMess Wed 01-Feb-17 20:46:24

You can file the paperwork for divorce without a solicitor and if you are on certain benefits you won't have to pay the fee. That could be possibly enough for the council to accept that he has no intention to return?

You could divorce for unreasonable behaviour I'm sure on the legal board people will check that your reasons would be considered sound, yes he may contest etc. but that will cost him money etc.

Jaym2017 Wed 01-Feb-17 21:00:53

I think i'll have to do that to be honest. I intend to claim housing benefit for a short while as his leaving has left me unable to fulfill my contract at work - I'm working my notice on reduced hours as good will from them to allow me to finish and therefore protect my reference. I need a job that will allow me to be around for youngest (7) and therefore can claim JSA after a time while I look for school hours position till she's 12 that is allowed.

I was trying to remove him to ensure i didn't incur any issues claiming benefits if i need them.

I need to move over the child tax and child benefit from a joint account and his solo account. He asked me to wait till i finish work to do this, well I don't think i can afford to do that, i need to protect our money now. He actually has a credit card of mine too which has over 1500 left available (been trying to pay it off). I'd be screwed if he spends all of this.

If he's going to block things I'm going to get legal matters confirmed and protect ourselves.

He actually left a card for my birthday today with our gilrs, 'to my wife'.. he came for tea at their request and didn't say a thing about the conversation with the council.

RandomMess Wed 01-Feb-17 21:06:06

You need to sort out things very very quickly, phone up the credit card company and get it blocked tonight - you've lost it, anything! Phone up child benefit and tax credits tomorrow. You need to demonstrate that the relationship has ended and you are primary carer.

Has he resisted moving out and resisting the end of the relationship? It sounds like he has no intention of letting it actually end...

Lovemusic33 Wed 01-Feb-17 21:09:23

I think it's best to talk to him and get him to agree to be taken off. Tell him if you were to stop paying the rent he would be liable if still on the tenancy grin, tell him you need to be able to claim housing benefit and council tax benifit and without it you can afford to feed the kids.

You need to inform tax credits that he has moved out and child tax credit and child benifit needs to be payed to you.

frazzled3ds Wed 01-Feb-17 21:13:31

With regards to tax credits, make sure that anything that links him to your address is changed (bank statements, electoral roll, council tax bills etc) as soon as possible - I had the oh so lovely joy of having to prove that my XH and I had separated as their 'checks' threw up details of him still living at the address (he hadn't for several months at this point - we were able to do the 2 yrs separated and then divorce thing, reasonably amicably) which was tedious and a right PITA to be honest, particular when they had also made me prove income and childcare etc for the previous two years as well - SOOOOO much paperwork!

As Random says too, cancel the card ASAP.

Hope you get things sorted out ok, and if you want to let off steam at any point, feel free to PM, I'm also in SW Wales.

Domino20 Wed 01-Feb-17 21:14:23

Please block that credit card! Also you should check on what type of tenancy you might get if the old tenancy is terminated and a new one issued just in your name. The government have bought in measures that make new tenancies much less favourable than those previously issued.

PizzaPlease Wed 01-Feb-17 21:14:29

I just went through this. We were required to go into the council office together to sign the papers. But he wasn't officially taken off the tenancy until after they had done a home visit and confirmed I could take over solo, which meant I had to essentially reapply for the tenancy with them making sure I could afford it alone.

Jaym2017 Wed 01-Feb-17 21:16:14

I will get on it tomorrow - I spoke to him last week when I first decided to tell the council and he asked me to reconsider 'in case anything happens to me' i.e in case I die and he has to move in with the girls. I was gentle (even at the crassness of that comment) and said I was just protecting our right to benefits when I finish work and that the government are going to want to see that he's defo moved out etc.

I will speak to tax credits / child benefit tomorrow and get the card stopped. I had left him with it as it was understood he'd only use it for food if absolutely necessary till his student finance comes in but he has a small paypal business that i have no idea how much is coming in from. I'm defo the one in the dark.

Jaym2017 Wed 01-Feb-17 21:18:06

from what i've read my annual earnings will be under the threshold for earnings plus a certain amount per child to be able to claim for divorce fee's. I'll print the form tomorrow and star the ball rolling legally. I won't say anything to him though let the law do the talking and the council will have to listen.

Foslady Wed 01-Feb-17 21:18:35

To take him off the tenancy you'all need to do a deed of assignment. This is a legal agreement that in effect ends the joint tenancy and makes it single. You need to have not reassigned before (can only do once), not be in arrears and the landlord needs to be in possession of a letter from Him asking to come off the tenancy and from you asking for him to be removed. Then at their discretion this can be done.

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