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FEB 23, 2015

Lock changes when you split with your partner

Changing the locks at your property is a sensible precaution if you split with your partner and don’t want them accessing your home whenever they like. Once the relationship is finished you want peace of mind knowing they aren’t going to ‘drop by’ when they want to and slip into your home when least expected.

Be careful before you change the locks though. If you are married or in a civil partnership for example your ex has certain rights and lock changing isn’t as straightforward as it seems. To clarify a few points we highlight what Citizen’s Advice has to say on the subject.  This is worth a read if your marriage is over.

What are your rights?

When your partner moves out of the family home they still have certain rights if this property has been shared during the marriage or civil partnership and both your names are on the title deeds or rental agreement. If you are staying put in the property, you don’t have an immediate right to change the locks without the prior consent of the other person and this has to be a formal agreement.  In some cases, where domestic abuse is involved for example, a court can place an order in your favour and should this happen you are perfectly within your rights to change the locks.  Or if you can both reach an agreement about the future of the property and your ex is happy for you to change the locks, this is legal and lawful. Get this in writing though just in case there are any problems in the future.  

What if I own the home?

If you are the only person named on the title deeds or rental agreement and you have just split with your partner you can change the locks if you have given them reasonable notice to leave the property. Once the notice period elapses you are perfectly entitled to change the locks. The length of notice you give will depend on the circumstances. If the split is amicable a few weeks’ notice would be reasonable. If there have been acts of violence or your partner has behaved unreasonably immediate notice would be reasonable.   

To save any doubts seek legal advice if you are thinking of changing the locks at your property after a relationship breakdown. And feel free to contact us at Homesecure 24hr Ltd when you want to fit new locks. 

Created on 23rd February 2015
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