The Property (Relationships) Act 1976’s definition for when people are in a de facto relationship is very broad and very flexible.
Some people say that the meaning of the phrase “live together as a couple” is unclear. The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 affects how the partners must divide their property if they separate. People should be able to tell whether the Act applies to them or not.
Flexibility can be a good thing. Every relationship is different. The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 must apply to the right de facto relationships when those relationships may be very diverse. The way people enter and leave relationships has changed over time and it will probably keep changing.
It is important that the definition of de facto relationship provides people with as much guidance as possible but also keeps some flexibility.