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Can my stbxh change the locks

(8 Posts)
bella1968 Mon 17-Nov-14 11:05:36

on a jointly owned house that he doesn't live in but the children and I do live in.

babybarrister Mon 17-Nov-14 12:18:19

neither of you are allowed to change the locks or to prevent the other living there without an order of the court until the finances are dealt with by way of a final court order or without an occupation order

bella1968 Mon 17-Nov-14 13:40:36

thanks for your reply babybarrister but what happens if he does?

Collaborate Mon 17-Nov-14 13:42:04

If your ex lets themselves in and takes things without your knowledge or consent, or has been violent or threatening towards you, or lets themselves in without warning when you're in, speak to a solicitor about changing the locks anyway, or getting and injunction (particularly if there has been violence).

What babybarrister says is correct, but you must also consider how that works in practice. If you change the locks, your ex still has a right to enter the property and may use reasonable force to do so. If however you are in at the time, and do not want them to enter, they are committing a crime under s6 Criminal Law Act 1977 www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/45/section/6

If you change the locks and don't give ex a set of keys they may apply to the court for an order under the Family Law Act requiring that you do not obstruct their entry. In practice though most judges would only make such an order if ex needs to live there or has some other justifiable reason to be at the property, not to allow them to make a nuisance of themselves.

Collaborate Mon 17-Nov-14 13:43:14

Cross post.

If he changes the locks on your home then it's you who'd need to apply for the order under the Family Law Act.

bella1968 Mon 17-Nov-14 14:07:54

thank you for your answers. I guess then if I go home tonight and he's changed the locks, there's nothing much I can do immediately then?

VodkaJelly Mon 17-Nov-14 15:12:53

You can get a locksmiths to let you in or break in yourself - using mimimum amount of force or damage

Collaborate Mon 17-Nov-14 16:49:00

But you would be committing a crime if he's in the home at the time. In that case, best to call the police, who might (only might) be willing to speak to him.

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