As a de facto spouse, you cannot register the house or apartment in which you live with your spouse as a "family residence". This means that your spouse could, for example, sell or rent out your house without informing you, if he or she is the sole owner or the only person who signed the lease.

However, you can take steps to protect your home.

If you are an owner

If you are an owner, you can sign a cohabitation agreement with your spouse, specifying that if you separate:

  • one spouse may buy back the other’s share;
  • the spouse who obtains sole custody of the children will have a temporary right to continue living in the house.

If you are a tenant

If you are a tenant and you separate from your de facto spouse, you can remain in your dwelling even if you did not sign the lease.

However, you must meet the following conditions:

  • you lived in the dwelling with the person who signed the lease for at least six months;
  • you continue to live in the dwelling;
  • you notify the owner of the departure of the spouse who signed the lease within two months.  
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