It will be helpful to find out whether Bobby’s local council has signed up to the Council tax protocol. you alternative accommodation, unless you can argue that you have occasional When is an employer liable for other people’s discrimination against its employees? You should check the rules that apply to the client’s particular housing status — there is further information on Advisernet about the rules on assignment for assured and assured shorthold tenants, secure tenants and protected tenants. Bobby may wish for some information on how it will affect her financially if she finds a job. The bank and credit card companies are required to act reasonably and treat Bobby fairly. This family law option doesn’t mean that Bobby isn’t still liable for the rent under the tenancy but it needs to be considered, and in practice might provide another way to ensure the rent is paid. Normally this outcome can only be achieved by: It’s also important to note that where the parties are married or are civil partners even steps are taken to get the tenancy placed into one sole name the spouse or partner who has left the property will still retain home rights (under s.30 Family Law Act 1996) which would allow them to return to occupy the former matrimonial home until the marriage or civil partnership has ended (unless the court orders otherwise). Tenants of housing associations have very similar rights to those of private tenants. Bobby is not working and is caring for the children. The court can direct when and with whom a child should live, spend time, or have contact. Both parties have an obligation to each other, to the Mediation process, and to the Court, to provide a full and frank disclosure of their financial affairs. There are three initial questions that you need to consider when advising a client on their housing options following a relationship breakdown. In the event of a joint tenancy, a landlord can at both tenants’ request agree to a change. Bobby will need some advice about the implications of claiming UC as maintaining a UC claim is different from claiming tax credits. Any financial order will not be effective until decree absolute. If you've agreed one of you plans to stay, it’s usually best to explain this to your landlord and ask them to update the tenancy agreement. If Bobby has given away any property or paid one creditor in preference to another within two years of a DRO application the application might be declined. If Bobby owes no more than £5,000 in total and already has a county court judgment in her name she could apply for an AO. Otherwise the family courts will decide. If they do not, the Court may overturn an agreement/order for that reason. Where a departed tenant refuses to make any contribution towards the rent, it would be advisable for the remaining tenant to pay the rent if they can afford to do so (at least in the short-term). Sometimes it can be difficult to work out what is the Relationship breakdown If a joint tenant wants to end your tenancy without your agreement by giving notice to quit, you can ask the court for an injunction These are the only two available grounds for an immediate divorce. If she runs a business she can’t act as a company director or trade in a name other than the one that she had at the time that the order is made. The husband is likely to have a higher income and earning capacity than the wife and a case may be made for spousal maintenance. They have some joint debts with council tax arrears of around £2,000, water and electricity arrears and each have some credit card debts. If you d… Tenancies that are not fixed term run from period to period, eg week to week. A basic bank account may be her only option in view of her debts. Bobby should try to agree the basis of the divorce with her husband to avoid delays and extra expense. If you are left living alone in the family home, the local authority or Also during the 12 month term of the order she won’t be able to borrow £500 or more without telling the lender that she has a DRO. However, if they moved in and her husband signed a new contract for supply, he might be liable and not Bobby. A payment arrangement will need to be made for the arrears, possibly by deduction from universal credit (but see debt solutions below). No matter what the relationship and circumstances are between joint tenants, disputes can inevitably arise. What are my housing rights? However within any divorce negotiations Bobby might be able to argue that her husband should either pay all of the rent or contribute if he has a much higher income (as above) — she could also agree this as part of any separation agreement. An order can also prevent a claim from a former spouse upon death of the other under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Bobby’s current tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy and she is still within the fixed term (she is 4 months into a 12 month fixed term). Bobby should be told that if she gets a DRO she will have a duty to tell the insolvency service if her income goes up or she receives any property during the 12 months of the order, and if this is the case the DRO could be revoked. Further, if there was domestic abuse involved Bobby might also want to consider the option of applying for a non-molestation order. Alternatively, the tenant who has left might find it difficult to secure rehousing if they are already a joint tenant of another property –in these circumstances they often ask for their names to be removed from joint tenancy agreements. A relationship breakdown can have a major impact on the client and their family. They have all the rights, duties and responsibilities that by law a parent has in relation to their child. Are there any current benefit claims that will be affected by the breakup? She needs to do this as soon as possible or she may be getting an overpayment of tax credits which will be recoverable. With that in mind, clients should always be advised to consider whether they need to make a will on separation. Break clauses. As she is living in a three bedroom property she will be subject to a size-related reduction on her housing cost element and so she might need to claim a discretionary housing payment — see the welfare benefit section for more details on help with housing costs. The type of tenancy a client has is also a practical consideration when deciding what to do about their tenancy — some tenancies give more protection than others. Bobby and her husband are jointly and severally liable for this. She might be able to get charitable help to clear this debt from an energy fund or other grant giving charity — check Auriga grants or Turn2us. If you are joint tenants, you may wish to change the tenancy so that it is in the sole name of one of the joint tenants, for example because one of the joint tenants has moved out. When deciding how to deal with the finances the court will consider the factors set out at s.25 MCA . separation, divorce or dissolution, apply “Can I take my ex off the tenancy” and so on. This could be that one party be responsible for a debt liability. The Family Court can make a variety of divorce financial orders under the MCA 1973 as follows: The Court has to consider a clean break; that is a dismissal of future claims for maintenance or financial ties between husband and wife. There is a risk that the landlord will refuse consent if they don’t think that Bobby can afford the rent on her own. If she has a low income or is in receipt of welfare benefits she may be able to claim a fee exemption via the court. She will need to prove one of two facts. removed from the tenancy agreement with the local authority or housing If you have a joint tenancy and your relationship with your joint tenant has broken down and he/she has left the home, you will probably want his/her name removed from the tenancy agreement with the local authority or housing association. With regard to the joint debts, it is not possible for the court to order one party to take responsibility for payment to a third party creditor. If you own your property as joint tenants and your relationship breaks down, one of the first things that you should do is to sever that joint tenancy. ... your rights to live in the accommodation after the separation of you and your partner depend on your relationship status. As Bobby is a joint tenant UC may deem her to be responsible for only 50% of the housing costs. If the couple purchased as joint tenants (Rights when living together), either of them could apply to the court for an order that the home is to be sold and that the proceeds are to be divided equally between them. Start by checking who signed the contract for the electricity supply. If one tenant ends this type of joint agreement none of the other tenants can stay in the property without the landlord's permission. She might need help to do a better-off calculation. It should also be noted that if the transfer is made under the Family Law Act 1996 the court can order compensation to be paid to the spouse or civil partner losing the benefit of their home. Under s.25B-25D MCA the court can divide pensions between the parties by way of a Pension Sharing or Pension Attachment order. If he refuses to give such an undertaking, it is possible to make an application for an injunction to prevent him serving a notice (using the court’s inherent jurisdiction under Family Procedure Rules 2010 r 8.34 and r 20.2.) They will contact the parties at an early stage to help resolve the issues. This is because her claim for tax credits is a joint claim and this will now come to an end. If Bobby was not a joint tenant and had no right under housing law to remain she would still have rights to occupy and not to be excluded under s.30 of the Family Law Act 1996. If she managed to get through to the end of the IVA term she would be released from any unpaid balance. How a pension should be divided depends upon its value, the age of the parties, the length of the marriage as well as the usual s.25 MCA factors. You’ll both need to move out. Citizens Advice advisers can find further support in identifying domestic abuse via the ASK RE Programme. To start divorce proceedings in the Family Court, Bobby will have to pay a court fee of £550. This is called transferring ownership. This is a popular choice where a property is being purchased together with a relative or someone you’re in a relationship … It should be noted that a transfer of the tenancy is one of the property adjustment orders that the court can make under MCA 1973. If there was domestic abuse the court is more likely to grant such an order. One tenant wishes to remain in the property so I need to remove the other's name from the rental agreement. As she doesn’t have any earnings she will be entitled to free prescriptions and free dental treatment if she claims UC. If two or more people acquire a property together, it can be either as tenants in common or as joint tenants. Bobby will need advice on her entitlement to child maintenance. The water company should be contacted and a payment arrangement made, since although this is a non priority debt (they do not have the power to disconnect) she will want to stop them from getting a judgment and transferring this to the high court for enforcement. The person who wishes to end the agreement will have to give written notice to quit to the landlord to formally end the tenancy. Who retains that asset will depend upon needs, for example does the husband require it for work, or does Bobby need it to transport the children? Joint tenants. Relationship Breakdown If your relationship with your partner, spouse, civil partner or joint tenant breaks down, you may need to decide who is going to remain in, and take over the tenancy. If you are unable to reach a mutual agreement regarding your tenancy, you may need to seek legal advice. Legal aid is likely to be available for Bobby to attend mediation. There is an overdraft on the joint account and they have some joint debts. Bobby can claim a single person’s discount as soon as her husband leaves and she may also be entitled to council tax reduction to reduce her ongoing bill. Bobby and her husband have a Joint bank account. There is also work allowance included in the UC calculation for claimants with dependent children. Bobby has a joint bank account with her husband which is currently in overdraft. Individual ownership of assets has less importance. She will need to contact the child benefit office to ask for this to be paid into her new account. If she wants to remain in the home longer term she needs to consider her options. If Bobby has a deficit budget she can ask for a discretionary council tax reduction under section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act. One of the factors considered in a judicial However, for a joint tenancy agreement to be made, certain conditions must be met. 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