Your may have the right to inherit a council tenancy when the tenant dies but this depends on several things:
- your relationship with the tenant;
- whether you lived with them when they died;
- the type of tenancy they had; and
- when the tenancy started.
Please complete this this form if you feel that you have the right to succeed your tenancy.
The information below gives some more details.
You automatically become the sole tenant if you are a joint tenant and the other joint tenant dies.
This takes priority over anyone else’s claim to inherit the tenancy.
This applies whether you are an introductory or secure tenant.
You can inherit a secure tenancy if the tenant who died was your husband, wife or civil partner, as long as it was your home at the time they died.
Your right to inherit takes priority over that of any of the tenant’s relatives.
If you were not married or in a civil partnership, but were living with the tenant who died as though you were, the rules for inheriting a secure council tenancy depend on when the tenancy began.
Tenancies that started on or after 1 April 2012 – You can inherit the tenancy as long as it was your home when your cohabitee died.
Tenancies that started before 1 April 2012 – You can inherit the tenancy as long as it was your home at the time your cohabitee died and you were living together for at least 12 months before they died.
If you moved home in the year before the tenant died, time spent living with your cohabitee in the other property counts.
If you are a relative of a council tenant who has died, the rules for inheriting a secure council tenancy depend on when the tenancy began.
Tenancies that started on or after 1 April 2012 – You can only inherit a relative’s tenancy that started on or after 1 April 2012 if the tenancy agreement says this is allowed.
Tenancies that started before 1 April 2012 – You can inherit a relative’s tenancy that started before 1 April 2012 if:
- the tenancy was your home at the time the tenant died
- the tenant did not have a spouse or civil partner who can inherit the tenancy
- you were living with tenant for at least 12 months before they died
It doesn’t matter where you lived with your relative in the 12 months before they died. If you moved home, time spent living in another property counts.
You count as a relative of a council tenant who could inherit the tenancy of a council tenant who dies if you were their:
- parent or grandparent
- child or grandchild
- brother or sister
- uncle, aunt, nephew or niece
Step-relations, half-relations and in-laws are also included. You cannot inherit the tenancy if you are the foster child of the tenant who died.
Only one person can inherit a tenancy.
Sometimes more than one person living with a tenant could inherit the tenancy. The husband, wife or civil partner will always take priority over anyone else, unless it is a joint tenancy when the tenancy continues in the name of the other joint tenant.
If there is a choice between relatives, you can decide among yourselves who inherits the tenancy. Two or more of you cannot succeed together as joint tenants.
If you can’t agree, the council decides for you.
You cannot be evicted for under-occupying a secure council tenancy if you inherited it as the tenant’s husband, wife or registered civil partner.
We can take steps to evict you from a home that is too large for your needs if you inherited a secure tenancy as a close relative. We also may be able to evict you if you inherited the tenancy as the tenant’s cohabitee. We must provide suitable alternative accommodation for you.
We must give you notice to leave between six and 12 months after the tenant’s death or the date we became aware of the tenant’s death if this is later. You can’t be evicted for under-occupation if we give you notice outside this period.
You will only be evicted if we take you to court and the judge agrees that:
- it is reasonable to evict you
- the alternative accommodation provided meets your needs
Your rights to inherit a flexible tenancy are the same as those for secure council tenancies that started on or after 1 April 2012.
Your rights to inherit an introductory tenancy are the same as those for secure council tenancies that started before 1 April 2012.
Husbands, wives, civil partners, cohabitees and close family members can inherit a tenancy demoted for antisocial behaviour if they lived with the tenant for at least 12 months before they died.
You have no right to inherit a family intervention tenancy or temporary accommodation granted after a homelessness application made by the person who died.
We can ask you to leave following the tenant’s death if you don’t have the right to inherit the council tenancy you are living in.
We must follow the legal procedure. You will be evicted if you don’t leave.
In rare cases we may decide to offer you a new tenancy if you were the tenant’s carer or a relative without the right to succeed. This could be in the same or a different property.
You may be able to get help from the council if you will be homeless.