Legal Eagle: Court occupation order could solve a shared tenancy issue
The father of my two young children has threatened me with his guns and has told me if I do not pack my bags and leave the house, I will be leaving in a body bag.
Our relationship has now broken down and we have separated, but we are having to live in the same house together as the tenancy is held in joint names. I don’t have anywhere else to live with my two young children, I am unable to work and I provide the majority of care to our two young children. I am now scared for my safety. I know my ex-partner has family members he could live with and savings he could use to get another property. I want my ex-partner to leave but I do not know what to do.
First and foremost, you should immediately inform the police of the threats your ex-partner has made towards you in relation to the use of guns. It is important that you tell the police as police reports can be used as evidence in court proceedings. You are legally entitled to not be harassed, pestered or threatened by your ex-partner. Given that there appears to be an immediate threat to your safety, an emergency application to the court for a Non-Molestation Order can be considered. A Non-Molestation Order would prevent your ex-partner from intimidating, harassing or pestering you. This would prohibit him from entering or attempting to enter your home.
In relation to the property you co-habit with your ex-partner, you may wish to apply to the Court for an Occupation Order at the same time as applying for a Non-Molestation Order. An Occupation Order restricts someone’s right to reside in the property. The Occupation Order would suspend your ex-partner’s right to reside in the property which would allow you to return home. When making an application for an Occupation Order, the Court must consider the ‘balance of harm’ test. The Court will consider which of the parties, including the children, would be most placed at risk of harm if they were not to reside in the family home. The Court will take into account a number of factors such as the housing needs and resources of the parties and the children, the financial resources of the parties and the effect of not living in the property on the health, safety or wellbeing of the parties or children.
Ben Hoare Bell LLP can advise on issues such as this. If you would like to make an appointment to discuss this matter further please contact us on 0191 565 3112 or email [email protected] Visit www.benhoarebell.co.uk for further information.