Passing on your tenancy

You may have the right to pass on your tenancy to someone else in certain circumstances.

Passing on your tenancy while you are alive

Only secure tenants have this right and only in certain circumstances.

  • You may have the right to pass on (assign) your tenancy to certain members of your family (assignees) during your lifetime. This is only if the member of your family would have the right to succeed to your tenancy if you had died at the time you asked for the transfer.
  • We have to agree to this transfer. We will not agree to the transfer if you want to transfer to another council property. In certain cases, we would also have the right to ask the assignee to move to more suitable accommodation.

If you pass on your tenancy in this way, you are giving up your rights to the tenancy and even your right to live in the property. So, you must always think very carefully before asking our permission to transfer your tenancy. If you are a secure tenant, the person you pass on your tenancy to would be a secure tenant.

To apply to pass on your tenancy while you are alive please complete this form by clicking here

Swapping your home

If you are a secure tenant, you have the right to ask to exchange your tenancy with another council or housing association tenant. This is called ‘mutual exchange’. If you are an introductory tenant, you do not have this right, although we may agree in exceptional circumstances.

You will need our permission before you exchange. We will only refuse your request where there is good reason – for example, if the property would be overcrowded or if the property has been adapted for a disabled person and no disabled person will be living there.

You must also be keeping to the terms of your tenancy. For example, you must have a clear rent account. If you are breaking the terms of your tenancy, we will ask you to put this right before we make a final decision about the exchange.

Most people find a ‘swap’ through word of mouth or through an advert in local newspapers, shops or post offices. You can also use the national House Exchange scheme which lists council and housing association tenants who want to swap their homes.

Click here to join the House Exchange. Within two working days of you registering, you can use the website to look for a tenant to swap homes with. The website is updated every day.

Once you have found someone to swap with you need to complete a Mutual Exchange form.  The person you are swapping homes with should do the same.

Passing on your tenancy when you die

If you die, your partner or relative may have the right to take over your tenancy. This is called ‘succession’. This cannot happen if this tenancy was passed to you through a succession or was transferred to you by a relative during their life.  They also have to have lived with you for at least 12 months immediately before you die.

This right is the same for secure, introductory and flexible (fixed term) tenants. But for introductory tenants, the person who succeeds to your tenancy will be an introductory tenant for the time left on your introductory tenancy. They will then become a secure or a flexible (fixed term) tenant as long as they are following the terms of their tenancy.

We will need to agree to the succession.

To apply to succeed to a tenancy please complete this form by clicking here


What happens if I get a divorce or seperate from my partner?

In the case of divorce or separation, the court may order who has a right to the tenancy. The court will usually give the tenancy to the person who has full custody of dependent children if they would otherwise be homeless.

You can ask us to consider changing a tenancy from a joint to a single tenancy.  In most cases we would need both joint tenants to agree to this.  To apply for a tenancy to be changed from a joint to a single please complete this form by clicking here