Succession covers who can inherit a tenancy when a tenant dies.
Succession is governed by legislation and who has the right to succeed to a tenancy depends on several things:
- The type of tenancy held
- The date the tenancy started
- The relationship of the person to the tenant who has died
You can only apply to succeed a tenancy if:
- You were a joint tenant with someone who has recently died
- You were living with a tenant who has recently died and want to take over their tenancy
No right of succession
If the tenant who has died succeeded to the tenancy, then it cannot be passed on again.
There will still be options for family members who have no right of succession. These include an offer of suitable accommodation if they are likely to become homeless and the council would owe them full homeless duty.
Another option that could be considered is a two-year non-renewable fixed term tenancy in an appropriate property to give some short-term stability following bereavement.
Tenants may be able to give (assign) their tenancy to another person who is living at the property or change the tenancy if a joint tenant is moving out.
The following are examples of the type of changes that can be made by assignment:
- Sole tenant to a new sole tenant - giving the tenancy to another person – provided there is only one tenant. The law limits who the tenancy can be assigned to and that person must qualify to succeed to the tenancy. Please see the section on succession
- Joint tenants to a sole tenant - removing one of the joint tenants from a tenancy where the tenancy is held by two tenants. The tenant whose name will be removed must agree to this
- Multiple named tenants to remove a tenant - applying to remove one tenant from a tenancy held in more than two names. The tenant whose name will be removed must agree to this
We suggest you get independent legal advice from a solicitor if you are thinking of assigning your tenancy.