Separating couples want to separate – obvious you may well say, but not always possible in the fantastically highly priced housing bubble which London has become. Separation gives you breathing space whilst you consider longer term options and would reduce the tension following relationship break down. Unfortunately where the costs of renting a second property are as high as they are in London, then this can be completely impossible.
Increasing numbers of couples are forced to remain in the family home together after their relationship has broken down – often for a considerable period of time. This can be excruciating for them and their children, if they are caught in the crossfire.
This problem is particularly acute in London where, as reported in the Daily Mail recently, London rents are so high in some areas that it would be infinitely cheaper to rent in Barcelona and commute to London for work! The Mail article detailed the situation faced by one Londoner Mr Cookney trying to rent in North West London
“A one-bedroom flat in West Hampstead would cost around £1,505 a month, according to Zoopla.
He then added in council tax at approximately £75 and a zone 1-2 travelcard to get to his job in the City, which costs £116.80, making a total of £1,697.
Mr Cookney said: ‘I chose West Hampstead because I know and like the area, and it doesn’t seem a stretch to suggest that a young professional may afford to live there’
He then compared the prices to Barcelona where a three-bedroom flat, with three balconies, a stone’s throw away from the metro, in the ‘nice and safe’ area of Les Corts costs £580 per month”
This may seem an extreme example but highlights the exceptionally high cost of living in London.
If following separation you need to remain in London for work then there may be no other option than continuing to live under the same roof until you can find a longer term solution, if there is one.
Focus Mediation has an office at Euston, (The Office Group, 1 Euston Square, 40 Melton Street, Euston NW1 2FD). Our mediators are experienced in helping couples faced with this type of problem after their relationship has ended. We will work with you during this time, not only to look at options for rehousing the family in two homes, but also to work out an agreed set of ground rules on how to behave towards each to reduce tensions, whilst you work together in mediation to reach a settlement. This can be done at a pace which suits you. Where you have children and both accept that your relationship is over then resolving matters quickly by agreement is essential in ensuring you both are able to move forward in separate homes and lives.