A member asked over 7 years ago

Ex won't leave the property

Recently separated but partner does not want to vacate the property. She accused me of domestic assault which police have cleared as she falsely accused me.
Now I am jobless and homeless as I cannot stay in the same property fearing more false accusations. This property is in my and my friend's name, we both are 50% owner of this property. Now me and my friend both are staying at other friend's house and also paying for the mortgage.

I need her to move out of the property so Me and my friend can go back to our own house.

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor

Hi there. If you and your friend are the legal owners of the property (i.e. both of your names are on the certificate of title), and you do not consent to your ex-partner living in the property, she may be considered a ‘squatter’ in the eyes of the law. This means that you, as the legal owner, have the right to seek assistance from the police to evict her. Your ex-partner may also be committing trespass, which would entitle you to bring a civil claim against her for compensation. She may also be liable to pay a fine under certain land protection legislation in NSW.

The above information presumes that your ex-partner does not hold any ownership rights to the property. Even though you (and your friend) are the legally registered owners and the ones responsible for repaying the mortgage, there are some circumstances where the law will recognise non-financial contributions (e.g. homemaking, maintenance) as giving another party an interest in the property. Depending on the nature of your relationship (i.e. duration, financial arrangements, shared assets), you may find that your ex-partner has a protected interest in the property that may prevent her from being evicted.

Furthermore, as you have recently separated from your partner, you may be looking to divide all your shared assets from your relationship, not just the house. Property can be divided by simply reaching an informal agreement between the parties. However, if the parties cannot reach an agreement, an application can be made to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court to resolve the property settlement. As part of this settlement, you may want or need to trade possession of the house for some other asset(s) from your relationship.

Suggested way forward

Your rights against your ex-partner will depend greatly on the nature of your relationship and the circumstances of how the property was acquired and has been maintained since the date of purchase. You should speak to a property or family lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and the best course of action. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered over 7 years ago   Legal disclaimer


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