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Question
Posted by: walter | 2011/03/04

what are my rights?

I have been involved in a cohabitual relationship for more than 10 years. I have fallen through hard times and my partner has decided to end the relationship and is contemplating to kick me out of his house. What are my legal rights if any?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi Walter and thanks for posting. I passed your question on a gay lawyer, who commented as follows:

"Unfortunately no rights over the house or contents. The parties could have married but chose not to. There is no such thing as a common law marriage, and the rights of unmarried parties are not entrenched. The only thing is that if the other person takes steps to evict, then he would have to show cause and also the courts must take into account the length of time the parties have been living in the house, the personal circumstances of both parties and any other relevant factor. This usually translates into the court giving the person being evicted a period of grace before getting out of the house. Anything between a month and six weeks on average."

I regret that this doesn't sound very encouraging. Please post again and tell me what city you are in, and I will try to connect you with a gay organisation. On another level, you could use your friends and family to attempt to persuade your partner to be reasonable by giving you a grace period of six weeks, in order for you to make relevant plans?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: gay, lesbian and bisexual expert | 2011/03/07

Hi Walter and thanks for posting. I passed your question on a gay lawyer, who commented as follows:

"Unfortunately no rights over the house or contents. The parties could have married but chose not to. There is no such thing as a common law marriage, and the rights of unmarried parties are not entrenched. The only thing is that if the other person takes steps to evict, then he would have to show cause and also the courts must take into account the length of time the parties have been living in the house, the personal circumstances of both parties and any other relevant factor. This usually translates into the court giving the person being evicted a period of grace before getting out of the house. Anything between a month and six weeks on average."

I regret that this doesn't sound very encouraging. Please post again and tell me what city you are in, and I will try to connect you with a gay organisation. On another level, you could use your friends and family to attempt to persuade your partner to be reasonable by giving you a grace period of six weeks, in order for you to make relevant plans?

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