Relationships and housing

8.28.0 Updated on:

Housing and co-habitation

Private rental accommodation – Entitled

Either partner or both partners should have Entitled Status to rent an Entitled private flat or house, but the tenancy must be in the name(s) of the Entitled partner(s). This may result in a sole tenancy. See also Ending relationships and housing.

Private rental accommodation – Registered or Lodgings

If neither partner has Entitled Status, the couple will only be able to occupy Registered accommodation or lodgings. Such accommodation can be occupied in single or joint names.

Registered persons occupying private lodgings with shared facilities do not have security of tenure and may be asked to vacate the property at any time.

Social Housing- Affordable Housing Gateway

The Affordable Housing Gateway is used by all social housing providers to ensure that available homes go to those people who are in greatest need.

An existing social housing tenant may only move a partner in after seeking and being granted permission. If the partner also has Entitled Status, the tenant could apply to the social sousing provider for the sole tenancy to become a joint tenancy.

Owner occupied accommodation

If a person wishes to move into their partner’s home and they both agree that ownership of the property should be shared, they must seek legal advice about changing the legal title of the property to joint ownership.

It is not possible for an unmarried couple to own property jointly unless they both have Entitled Status. Owning a property jointly gives equal rights, security and responsibility. It is possible for the sale of the property to be forced by an owner in common even if the other disagrees. See Joint ownership of property.

Couples sometimes purchase property in the name of one Entitled partner only, planning to transfer the property into joint names upon marriage. Such couples should be warned that they will have to pay stamp duty on the transactions twice. See Stamp Duty.

Share transfer property

As properties bought by share transfer do not come under the control of the Population Office, it is possible for unmarried couples where one partner does not possess Entitled Status to purchase property jointly as the Entitled partner would have received housing consent to occupy the property. The Registered or Entitled to Work  partner has to occupy the accommodation as a lodger and if there should be a separation or death of the partner with Entitled Status, the Registered or Entitled to Work partner could not stay in the property without consent from the Population Office.

Licenced Status

The Licenced resident can buy or lease any property in their own name provided they keep their Licenced Status. The spouse of a Licenced person can enter into the purchase of qualified property. The Minister for Hosing may apply special conditions to Licenced status therefore in the event of a separation, the spouse of the Licenced person may not be able to stay in the property and equally may not be able to lease or buy qualified property until they obtain Entitled Status in their own name.