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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My marriage has broken down and I have applied to the Court

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My marriage has broken down and I have applied to the Court for a divorce. My wife and I live in Council accomodation, and the joint tenancy will need to be ended legally, which will allow for the party having to move out to be re-housed by the local council.
The divorce is not being contested and we have come to a written agreement about property.
Is it compulsory that we have to employ solicitors to achieve the ending of the tenancy through the court, or is there a way that it can be done by us applying to the court?
Neither of us has much money and what I am asking would be our best option.
Colin Smith
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I confirm that this is a council tenancy as opposed to a housing association tenancy please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I confirm that it is a council tenancy.


Thank you. Your joint council tenancy can be assigned from both your names into one name by using a Deed of Assignment. this is a formal document which you both sign which legally assigns the tenancy from both names into one of your names. Once executed, the person leaving the tenancy is released from all obligations under the tenancy and relinquishes all rights under the tenancy and the tenancy continues in just one name.

there is usually no need to appoint a solicitor unless you decide you need advice in respect of giving up your tenancy - obviously, it is important that you fully understand that in assigning the tenancy, the person leaving the tenancy will have no further rights in respect of a property whatsoever. The council will usually supply the required deed of variation be both to sign - your signatures will need to be independently witnessed.

if there is a chance you may require alternative accommodation from the council following assignment of tenancy, it is wise to discuss your requirements with the local authority before executing any deed of assignment in relation to the tenancy.

Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I don't think you have answered my query. What I asked was when ending the joint tenancy without one party giving up voluntarily and thereby making him or herself homeless, is it necessary to employ the services of a solicitor, or is there a way in which we can ask the court to make the decision on who has to vacate, saving us both a lot of money yet still having the necessary legal documentation to present to the council.


Thank you for clarifying your query - my apologies I had misunderstood when you said you had come to a written agreement about property. I had mistakingly thought you meant about the property you live in.

There are two components to this. The first is who has to move out. If you cannot agree between you who is to move out then one or both of you would have to apply to the court for a tenancy transfer order as part of your divorce proceedings for the court to decide to whom the tenancy should be transferred. It is not necessary to retain a solicitor to make this application though it would assist you to do so.

If you can agree between you then the above is not necessary and you can apply to assign the tenancy as above.

However it is important that you do not assign the tenancy without the person that is prepared to vacate applying to the council for alternative accomodation. That person will need to notify the council of their intention to leave the property due to your divorcing and ask the council to rehouse them on the basis of your divorce. The speed at which the council may do so will depend upon the availabilty of housing and local policy. THe council is unliely to treat the request for rehousing as a priority but should be prepared to enter one of you on the register on the grounds of your divorce.

It is important that neither of you voluntarily give up your tenancy until the council has confirmed rehousing or one of you could find themselves homeless.

Have I been able to help you with all your questions on the above?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. Perhaps I might not have made my questions as clear as they should have been. However you have now answered the main question, ie that the application for ending the joint tenancy does not necessarily require the services of a solicitor providing that it is done as part of the divorce proceedings.

Thank you once again.


I am glad I could be of assistance and my apologies again for being at slight cross purposes initially. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though
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