Leasing: your rights to your home during divorce or dissolution

Are you separating from your spouse with whom you are currently renting an apartment? What happens to your common lease? All you need to know.

Rent and concubine: what becomes of the lease in case of separation?

If you are a tenant and a couple and you decide to separate, it will have different consequences depending on your marital status (married or simple cohabitants). If you are simply cohabiting and you have both signed the lease of your home without a solidarity clause, the lease will continue with the tenant who remains in the housing following the separation.

The cohabitant who remains in the dwelling will therefore be solely responsible for the payment of the rent and the charges towards the landlord, provided that the cohabitant, who leaves the dwelling, has given leave to the owner. In the opposite case, the cohabiting partner, who leaves the dwelling, remains obliged to pay the rent. It is therefore essential to give leave to your landlord in the rules prescribed by law if you decide to leave the house following your separation.

If you are neither that nor the other, it will not be necessary to conclude an amendment to the lease of rent following your separation. However, an amendment can clarify your situation vis-à-vis your landlord.

Separation: what happens in the case of a solidarity clause?

If you leave the home while your ex-partner remains there, you cannot claim the half of the deposit back from the landlord. Paid upon entry into the premises, it is considered indivisible, and is therefore returnable at the time of the total liberation of the dwelling by the last occupant.

On the other hand, know if you have given leave and that your ex-cohabitant stays in the house and does not pay his rent, the landlord can ask you arrears of rent if you signed a solidarity clause. This clause specifies that each roommate can be held responsible for the payment of the entire rent until the expiry of the lease. In the event of a solidarity clause, it is therefore in your interest to conclude an amendment to the initial contract if you leave the accommodation.

Nevertheless, this requires the agreement of your owner. Note, however, that you can subsequently file a lawsuit against your ex-cohabitant remained in the housing to obtain the reimbursement of sums you had to pay in its place. But if your ex-spouse has few means or is insolvent, the chances of getting a refund are very limited.

What about married couples?

If you were married and you rented a flat in common with your ex-spouse, you remain in solidarity with the debts of rents and charges, and this until the day of the transcription of your divorce. If your ex-spouse does not pay rent, your landlord may claim rent arrears. It should be noted that a married or pacified spouse cannot terminate the lease of his principal residence alone without the consent and signature of the other spouse.

Married spouses are deemed to be co-owners of the lease, even if only one of them is named in the lease, and has signed it alone. In order for them to be considered as co-owners, however, both spouses must live together in the dwelling in question and that this is their main residence. In the case of divorce, an endorsement will be necessary so that the tenant, who leaves the housing, is not worried then in case of non-payment of the rents or expenses of his ex-spouse.  If a married couple divorces and the two former spouses wish to maintain the dwelling, the judge will decide according to social and family interests. For couples who wish to separate, there is a legal solidarity that allows the owner to demand the payment of unpaid rents and expenses to any of the two partners, whether he is a signatory of the lease or not, and until the dissolution of the PACS.

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