Woman looking sad as she doesn't know what rights she has to her home. SAM Conveyancing answers your question: My partner owns the house what rights do I have?
Do you know your property rights?
We offer a variety services for couples from registering matrimonial home rights to TOLATA claims to prove you are due money from the property.

Don't feel you have to tackle this alone. Give us a call on 0333 344 3234 or click to ask a question.

My partner owns the house what rights do I have?

(Last Updated: 09/04/2024)
10 min read
When your partner owns the property it can be confusing to know what rights you have. The type of rights that you could be looking to protect include:

  • the right to reside/live in the property;
  • the right to have friends and family visit; and
  • the right to a beneficial interest in the property.

The rights you have over a property differ depending on the type of relationship you have with your partner and if your name is registered on the legal title. We'll examine each scenario and explain what your rights are below.

For more information on asset protection before marriage, check out our article here.

My partner owns the house what rights do I have?

#1 - Married - Matrimonial home

Under English law, both married partners have the legal right to live in their matrimonial home whether it is held in the names of both parties or just one. This falls under home rights and can only be overruled by the courts, such as a divorce order or order for sale.

The split of the matrimonial home will depend on if you have children or if there are any other reasons for the divorce such as cheating. In most cases a post marital matrimonial home will be shared equally - IE 50:50, even if the property is currently held in just one of the party's names.

You'll have a right to live in the property until the divorce, annulment or dissolution is finished and a court settlement agreed with your partner. On occasions a Continuation Order maybe given by the court to stay in the property longer if there is a property dispute. Read more >> Who Gets the House in Divorce/Dissolution?

Leaving the home doesn't effect your rights. However, if you stop making mortgage payments, this may affect your claim. If your ex has kicked you out, you may be able to get access through a court application. Speak to our property dispute team to get situation specific advice, to avoid confusion and any risk to your home rights.
If you are married or in a civil relationship you have home rights to reside in the marital home. If the marital home is in your partner's sole name then you can apply a charge onto the property that stops them from selling it.

You can apply a HR1 at the Land Registry by completing this form >> Notice of home rights: registration (HR1)

To ensure this application goes through as smoothly as possible you may choose to instruct a solicitor to make this application to register a charge on your home, on your behalf. The fees are relatively inexpensive, contact us to see how we can help.

#2 - Married - Buy to let

A buy to let in the UK isn't resided in by either party so any financial split should be in accordance with the divorce order. The rights to a share of the buy to let will normally be equal if a post marital purchase, or it'll potentially be classed as a pre-marital asset that remains with the original owner.

If you would like to divide ownership of a buy to let property in unequal shares with your spouse or civil partner, you will need to be registered at tenants in common and execute a deed of trust.

When you jointly own a property in England, if one party doesn't want to sell then the other party can only sell with an order for sale. If, however, the other party attempts to commit fraud by forging ID documents and signatures, then this can be avoided by applying the anti-fraud restriction Form LL to the legal title at the Land Registry. This means in order to sell or raise finances over the property, both parties must first have their ID verified by a solicitor.

#3 - Unmarried - Joint Tenants

As joint tenants you own the rights to the property equally; both to reside, rent and sharing any proceeds on sale.

You can sever the joint tenancy at any time, however if you do you'll need to have agreed what your share of the property is otherwise you face a lengthy and costly property dispute.

Are you arguing over who owns what? Find out how much you are owed from the property.

Two partners playing tug of war over their shared home. SAM Conveyancing answers: My partner owns the house what rights do I have?

#4 - Unmarried - Tenants in common

By definition, tenants in common own separate shares to the property and have the right to live in the property. Your shares in the property will have been stated in either:

#5 - Unmarried - I'm not on the legal title

You do not have to be a legal owner of the property to have a right to it. If you are paying money toward the mortgage on the understanding you are going to get a share of the beneficial interest on sale then you could have a right to the property. In such cases the legal owner holds the property on trust for the non-legal owner - this is known as a Constructive Trust.

You'll commonly need the help of a solicitor to prove you have an interest in the property and to confirm how much.

You should always put in writing what your intentions are before paying any money toward the property.

Frequently Asked Questions
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

People also searched for

Splitting up with partner? Are you due money from the property?

Splitting up with partner? Are you due money from the property?

Can a Jointly Owned Property Be Sold by One Owner with girl giving keys back to partner

Can I force the sale of a jointly owned property?

Joint Ownership of Property - How to Co-Own a property from SAM Conveyancing

Joint Ownership of Property - How to Co-Own a property

How to Sell a House When One Partner Refuses with two women and a man

How to Sell a House When One Partner Refuses

ToLATA Claims for Unmarried Couple's Property Disputes - A guide on the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act, from SAM Conveyancing

ToLATA Claims

Joint Property Ownership Disputes

Joint Property Ownership Disputes