Domestic abuse

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5. Joint tenancy options

If you live with a partner or other family member in a joint private or social tenancy, you will both have the legal right to live there. Your landlord cannot remove one person’s name from a joint tenancy without their consent. 

We would not advise you to remove your name from your tenancy without first seeking housing advice from our Housing Options Team, or without having secured another tenancy to move into. Although we wish to support any person leaving an abusive relationship, this does not mean we will have a property to offer you immediately, and we would need to assess what options are available for your particular situation. We will also need to assess whether we have a legal duty to provide you long term accommodation.

If you're married but your name is not on the tenancy, you will have 'matrimonial rights'. This means that although your name is not on the tenancy you will have the same legal rights to live there as your spouse.

You could consider the legal measures to help you stay or return to your home and the options of additional security in your home to help you remain safe through our Sanctuary Scheme. The Police may also feel you would benefit from additional alarms or safety measures they can offer, so that you are prioritised for a response for domestic abuse should an incident occur and you call 999.

It may not be safe for you to remain in or return to your tenancy, so you should seek support to help you assess and make this decision. You could consider alternative private rented accommodation, moving into temporary /refuge type accommodation or apply to Devon Home Choice if you are at risk of violence.