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My partner has left, can I change the locks?

written by Catherine Farres
19 · 5 · 20

So, is it legal to change the locks to the “family home” without your former partner’s consent?

The short answer is yes.

It does not matter if a property is registered in joint names, it is not illegal for one party to change the locks without the consent of the other party (unless there is a court order preventing you from doing so).

If you are living in a property, you are entitled to feel safe and to enjoy a degree of privacy.   

It is important to remember that if the property is registered in joint names and you change the locks, without a court order, the law does not stop the other party from changing the locks again, or getting access to the property.   However, if this were to happen, we recommend you contact the Police or seek legal advice to discuss your options moving forward.

In some circumstances, the changing of the locks may increase conflict between parties. There are many circumstances where it is necessary to ensure the safety of one party or their children. 

If you would like more information or assistance. Please contact our team on 03 5536 9111.

Catherine Farres

Catherine is an associate family lawyer who is very much a key ambassador of anderson Family Lawyers. She is approachable, calm, understanding and empathetic to her client’s, individual circumstances and diverse needs.