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CAN I CHANGE THE LOCKS AFTER MY EX LEAVES?

CHANGING THE LOCKS AFTER A SEPARATION OR DIVORCE Greater Manchester

This is a regular scenario. Your partner has gone out, yet they think it is acceptable for them to come and go as they like. They may still have items at the house that they want access to, or they may show up unexpectedly to visit the children.

If they still have a key, they may just allow themselves in, and they may even return when you are away, only to discover when you return home and things have been moved.

Many individuals wonder, “Can I replace the lock on my property Greater Manchester after my ex has moved out?” The answer is not simple and will vary depending on the facts of the scenario.

Typically, one of the following circumstances will occur:

1. You own the property and are named on the deeds.

2. You both rent the property and are on the tenancy at the same time.

3. Although one of you owns the property, you have both been living there as a couple.

4. One of you rents the property, but the other lived with you as a pair.

Let’s look at these in pairs:

1. You own the property and are named on the deeds.

OR

2. You rent the property and are on the tenancy at the same time.

Locks should not be changed unless both parties agree. You both have legal possession of the property and can live there together. It doesn’t matter if your ex has moved out; they can return at any time and continue to reside in the house.

You have the legal right to replace the locks yourself, but keep in mind that your ex has the legal right to return at any time and legally change them again. To obtain entry, they can utilise a locksmith or force. There is nothing the police can do to prevent them from re-entering the property unless they commit a “breach of the peace.” They have the legal authority to do so.

So, in a nutshell, you can change the locks, but their ex can just replace them back if they so desire.

Let’s have a look at the second pairing:

3. Although one of you owns the property, you have both been living there as a couple.

OR

4. One of you rents the property, but the other lived there as a pair with you.

You may be able to alter the locks in such circumstances. However, if you are married or have been living together for a long time, your ex may have the right to dwell in the property as well. The nature and duration of the relationship are not expressly defined by laws, but if you have been living together in a partnership for a few years, you will likely fall under the purview of this regulation.

The individual who has moved out may have the rights to live in the property Greater Manchester, and if you take efforts to prevent them from doing so, they may seek to the court for an order allowing them to re-enter. The court may even mandate that they remain in the property while you are barred from entering!

As a result, there are relatively few scenarios after a relationship in which you can lawfully replace the locks on your property without ramifications. So, what are your options?

If your ex-partner has been violent or abusive, or if there is a risk to you or your children, you can seek to the courts Greater Manchester for an occupation order. You can apply for an order without one of them, but you must provide a compelling basis for doing so.

You may apply for the this order using form FL401, and you do not have to consider mediation through an MIAM to do so. There is also no need to pay a court fee. The court will make an order after considering the facts of the case. In some situations, they can issue an order even if the opposite party is not present if making such an application would place you in jeopardy.

Cases involving a risk to you or your children should be handled quickly and ideally with the assistance of a professional to ensure that your case is correctly presented to the court. This will increase your chances of getting an order placed in your case. You can, of course, represent yourself or utilise a Mckenzie acquaintance, but getting solid legal counsel ahead of time can be really beneficial.

If your ex was not violent or abusive, and there is no danger to you or your children, your ex has the same legal right to enter the property as you do. In such circumstances, you should discuss the situation with them and request that they not simply enter the house or show up unannounced. It is an issue of mutual respect and consideration, regardless of their legal rights. If you are unable to discuss it among yourselves, family mediation will assist you in reaching an agreement on what you can and cannot do.

Property Greater Manchester and ownership concerns will be resolved as part of your divorce if you want a consent order, or as part of your separation if you seek a financial order on your assets. However, because going to court for such things will take a long time and cost you more than £20,000 in legal expenses, you are better off striking an out-of-court settlement and sticking to it. Any arrangement reached outside of court can be rendered legally binding by consent if you both agree.

WHERE IS MY RIGHT TO PRIVACY?

Everyone in the United Kingdom Greater Manchester has a right to privacy in their private life, home, and communications under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act of 1988. It means that the state cannot interfere with or dictate your sexuality, body, personal identity, relationships, or personal information.

Property rights Greater Manchester are governed by the Family Law Act of 1996 and are dealt with separately. Your ex would not be able to take anything that is plainly yours without your permission, nor would he be able to read your emails or letters, nor would he be allowed to film or watch you in any manner. These could be criminal offences, and committing them could result in harsh consequences. If you suspect this is the case, you should seek immediate legal counsel or report it to your local police.

DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IF I PAY MY MORTGAGE, RENT, OR UTILITIES?

No. Who pays for the property has no influence on the right to occupy it. Now that you are living in different properties, it is a good time to consider whether you are eligible for further support, such as universal credit, child benefit, or child maintenance. In contrast, if your ex is paying the bills, this does not increase or lessen their rights to enter the property under family law.

DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHO IS REGISTERED FOR COUNCIL TAX?

No. Whose name is recorded for council tax has no bearing on the right to remain in the property. If you are the sole adult residing at the property, you should request a reduction in your council tax bill. You can find your local council by clicking here.

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