LAWS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM

 

MATRIMONIAL HOMES ACT 1967

(1967 c. 75)

 

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

 

SECT.

1. Protection against eviction, etc., from matrimonial home of spouse not entitled by virtue of estate, etc., to occupy it.

2. Effect of statutory rights of occupation as charge on dwelling house.

3. Restriction on registration where spouse entitled to more than one charge.

4. Contract for sale of house affected by registered charge to include term requiring cancellation of registration before completion.

5. Cancellation of registration after termination of marriage, etc.

6. Release of rights of occupation and postponement of priority of charge.

7. Provision for case where Rent Acts apply and marriage is terminated by divorce, etc.

8. Short title, commencement, extent and construction.

 

SCHEDULE - CONSEQUENTIAL Amendments as to Land Charges.

 

-----------------------------------------------

 

An Act to amend the law of England and Wales as to the rights of a husband or wife to occupy a dwelling house which has been the matrimonial home; and for connected purposes.

[27th July 1967]

 

General Note

This Act amends the law relating to the rights of a husband or wife to occupy a dwelling-house which has been the matrimonial home.

S. 1 gives protection against eviction or exclusion from the matrimonial home to a spouse not entitled by virtue of any estate, interest, contract or enactment to it. S. 2 deals with the effect of statutory rights of occupation as a charge on the dwelling-house; and s. 3 with restriction on registration where the spouse is entitled to more than one charge. S. 4 provides that a contract for sale of a house affected by a registered charge by virtue of s. 2 shall include a term requiring cancellation by the vendor of registration before completion. S. 5 deals with cancellation of registration after termination of the marriage; s. 6 with release of rights of occupation and postponement of priority of a charge; s. 7 with provision for cases where the Rent Acts apply and the marriage is terminated by divorce, etc.; and s. 8 with short title, commencement, extent and construction.

The Act, which does not extend to Scotland or Northern Ireland, received the Royal Assent on July 27, 1967, and comes into force on a day to be appointed.

For parliamentary debates, see H.L. Vol. 275, cols. 20, 627, 1134; Vol. 276, col. 123, Vol. 285, Vol. 285, Col 1142; H.C. Vol. 750, col. 2707.

 

Scotland.

The Act does not apply to Scotland (s. 8(2)).

 

Protection against eviction, etc., from matrimonial home of spouse not entitled by virtue of estate, etc., to occupy it

 

1. - (1) Where one spouse is entitled to occupy a dwelling house by virtue of any estate or interest or contract or by virtue of any enactment giving him or her the right to remain in occupation, and the other spouse is not so entitled, then, subject to the provisions of this Act, the spouse not so entitled shall have the following rights (in this Act referred to as "rights of occupation"):-

 

(a) if in occupation, a right not to be evicted or excluded from the dwelling house or any part thereof by the other spouse except with the leave of the court given by an order under this section;

 

(b) if not in occupation, a right with the leave of the court so given to enter into and occupy the dwelling house.

 

(2) So long as one spouse has rights of occupation, either of the spouses apply to the court for an order declaring, enforcing, restricting or terminating those rights or regulating the exercise by either spouse of the right to occupy the dwelling house.

 

(3) On an application for an order under this section the court may make such order as it thinks just and reasonable having regard to the conduct of the spouses in relation to each other and otherwise, to their respective needs and financial resources, to the needs of any children and to all the circumstances of the case, and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision,-

 

(a) may except part of the dwelling house from a spouse's rights of occupation (and in particular a part used wholly or mainly for or in connection with the trade, business or profession of the other spouse);

 

(b) may order a spouse occupying the dwelling house or any part thereof by virtue of this section to make periodical payments to the other in respect of the occupation;

 

(c) may impose on either spouse obligations as to the repair and maintenance of the dwelling house or the discharge of any liabilities in respect of the dwelling house.

 

(4) Orders under this section may, in so far as they have a continuing effect, be limited so as to have effect for a period specified in the order or until further order.

 

(5) Where a spouse is entitled under this section to occupy a dwelling house or any part thereof, any payment or tender made or other thing done by that spouse in or towards satisfaction of any liability of the other spouse in respect of rent, rates, mortgage payments or other outgoings affecting the dwelling house shall, whether or not it is made or done in pursuance of an order under this section, be as good as if made or done by the other spouse; and a spouse's occupation by virtue of this section shall for purposes of the Rent Acts and of the Landlord and Tenant (Rent Control) Act 1949 be treated as possession by the other spouse.

 

Where a spouse entitled under this section to occupy a dwelling house or any part thereof makes any payment in or towards satisfaction of any liability of the other spouse in respect of mortgage payments affecting the dwelling house, the person to whom the payment is made may treat it as having been made by that other spouse, but the fact that that person has treated any such payment as having been so made shall not affect any claim of the first-mentioned spouse against the other to an interest in the dwelling house by virtue of the payment.

 

(6) The jurisdiction conferred on the court by this section shall be exercisable by the High Court or by a county court, and shall be exercisable by a county court notwithstanding that by reason of the amount of the net annual value for rating of the dwelling house or otherwise the jurisdiction would not but for this subsection be exercisable by a county court.

 

(7) In this Act "dwelling house" includes any building or part thereof which is occupied as a dwelling, and any yard, garden, garage or outhouse belonging to the dwelling house and occupied therewith.

 

(8) This Act shall not apply to a dwelling house which has at no time been a matrimonial home of the spouses in question; and a spouse’s rights of occupation shall continue only so long as the marriage subsists and the other spouse is entitled as mentioned in subsection (1) above to occupy the dwelling house, except provision is made by section 2 of this Act for those rights to be a charge on an estate or interest in the dwelling house.

 

For the effect of statutory rights of occupation as a charge on a dwelling-house, see s. 2.

As to cases where the Rent Acts apply and the marriage is terminated by divorce, see s. 7.

 

Effect of statutory rights of occupation as charge on dwelling house

 

2. - (1) Where, at any time during the subsistence of a marriage, one spouse is entitled to occupy a dwelling house by virtue of an estate or interest, then the other spouse's rights of occupation shall be a charge on that estate or interest, having the like priority as if it were an equitable interest created at whichever is the latest of the following dates, that is to say,-

 

(a) the date when the spouse so entitled acquires the estate or interest;

 

(b) the date of the marriage; and

 

(c) the commencement of this Act.

 

(2) Notwithstanding that a spouse's rights of occupation are a charge on an estate or interest in the dwelling house, those rights shall be brought an end by -

 

(a) the death of the other spouse, or

 

(b) the termination (otherwise than by death) of the marriage,

 

unless in the event of a matrimonial dispute or estrangement the court sees fit to direct otherwise by an order made under section 1 above during the subsistence of the marriage.

 

(3) Where a spouse's rights of occupation are a charge on the estate interest of the other spouse -

 

(a) any order under section 1 above against the other spouse shall, except in so far as the contrary intention appears, have the like effect against persons deriving title under the other spouse and affected by the charge; and

 

(b) subsections (2) to (5) of section 1 above shall apply in relation to any person deriving title under the other spouse and affected by the charge as they apply in relation to the other spouse.

 

(4) Where a spouse's rights of occupation are a charge on an estate or interest in the dwelling house, and that estate or interest is surrendered so as to merge in some other estate or interest expectant thereon in such circumstances that, but for the merger, the person taking the estate or interest of the other spouse would be bound by the charge, then the surrender shall have effect subject to the charge and the persons thereafter titled to the other estate or interest shall, for so long as the estate or interest surrendered would have endured if not so surrendered be treated for all purposes of this Act as deriving title to the other estate or interest under the other spouse by virtue of the surrender.

 

(5) Where a spouse's rights of occupation are a charge on the estate or interest of the other spouse, and the other spouse -

 

(a) is adjudged bankrupt or makes a conveyance or assignment of his or her property (including that estate or interest) to trustees for the benefit of his or her creditors generally; or

 

(b) dies and his or her estate is insolvent;

 

then, notwithstanding that it is registered in accordance with the following provisions of this section, the charge shall be void against the trustee in bankruptcy, the trustees under the conveyance or assignment or the personal representatives of the deceased spouse, as the case may be.

 

(6) At the end of section 10 (1) of the Land Charges Act 1925 (which lists the classes of charges on, or obligations affecting, land which may be registered as land charges) there shall be added the following paragraph:-

 

"Class F: A charge affecting any land by virtue of the Matrimonial Homes Act 1967";

 

and in the enactments mentioned in the Schedule to this Act there shall be made the consequential amendments provided for by that Schedule.

 

(7) Where the title to the legal estate by virtue of which a spouse is entitled to occupy a dwelling house is registered under the Land Registration Act 1925 or any enactment replaced by that Act, registration of a land charge affecting the dwelling house by virtue of this Act shall be effected by registering a notice or caution under that Act, and a spouse's rights of occupation shall not be an overriding interest within the meaning of that Act affecting the dwelling house notwithstanding that the spouse is in actual occupation of the dwelling house.

 

(8) Where a spouse's rights of occupation are a charge on the estate or interest of the other spouse, and that estate or interest is the subject of a mortgage within the meaning of the Law of Property Act 1925, then, if, after the date of creation of the mortgage, the charge is registered by virtue of subsection (6) above, the charge shall, for the purposes of section 94 of that Act (which regulates the rights of mortgagees to make further advances ranking in priority to subsequent mortgages), be deemed to be a mortgage subsequent in date to the first-mentioned mortgage.

 

For protection against eviction, see s. 1.

For restriction on registration where a spouse is entitled to more than one charge, see s.3.

Contracts of sale include a term requiring cancellation of registration before completion: see s. 4.

As to cancellation of registration after termination of marriage, see s. 5. As to release of rights of occupation and postponement of priority of charges, see s. 6.

As to cases where the Rent Acts apply and the marriage is terminated by divorce, see s. 7.

 

Restriction on registration where spouse entitled to more than one charge

 

3. Where one spouse is entitled by virtue of section 2 above to a charge on the estate or interest of the other spouse in each of two or more dwelling houses, only one of the charges to which that spouse is so entitled shall be registered in accordance with subsection (6) or (7) of that section at any one time, and if any of those charges is registered in accordance with the said subsection (6) or (7), the Chief Land Registrar, on being satisfied that any other of them is so registered, shall cancel the registration of the charge first registered.

 

Contract for sale of house affected by registered charge to include term requiring cancellation of registration before completion

 

4. - (1) Where one spouse is entitled by virtue of section 2 above to a charge on an estate or interest in a dwelling house and the charge is registered in accordance with subsection (6) or (7) of that section, it shall be a term of any contract for the sale of that estate or interest whereby the vendor agrees to give vacant possession of the dwelling house on completion of the contract that the vendor will before such completion procure the cancellation of the registration of the charge at his expense:

 

Provided that the foregoing provision shall not apply to any such contract made by a vendor who is entitled to sell the estate or interest, in the dwelling house freed from any such charge.

 

(2) If, on the completion of such a contract as is referred to in sub-section (1) above, there is delivered to the purchaser or his solicitor an application by the spouse entitled to the charge for the cancellation of the registration of that charge, the term of the contract for which sub-section (1) above provides shall be deemed to have been performed.

 

(3) This section applies only if and so far as a contrary intention is not expressed in the contract.

 

(4) This section shall apply to a contract for exchange as it applies to a contract for sale.

 

(5) This section shall, with the necessary modifications, apply to a contract for the grant of a lease or underlease of a dwelling house as it applies to a contract for the sale of an estate or interest in a dwelling house.

 

<< HOME PAGE - NEXT PAGE >>


Published by MyNation Foundation
Back to Home Page
Design Copyright © 2011. MyNation.net,India