At this current time of uncertainty, understandably you may need to understand what would happen to a family member’s tenancy should anything happen to them.
Here’s what you need to know if you think someone may be eligible to take over the tenancy.
Q. What is a succession? Succession is what happens when another person is eligible to take over an existing tenancy when a tenant has died. The person who takes over a tenancy in this way is called a successor. A person only has the right to succeed if certain criteria are met.
Q. Do succession rights vary? In our tenancy agreements we have set out the succession rights the law says should apply and the additional succession rights that we have agreed. Succession rights vary depending on whether the tenant had a secure, assured, or a starter tenancy.
Q. Can succession happen more than once? A succession can only happen once. This means if the deceased person was already a successor (including a previous joint tenant), there cannot be a succession by another family member. Where a succession has already taken place and a further request is received, we will provide you with more information about how we will deal with the tenancy.
Q. What happens if it’s a joint tenancy? If the deceased was a joint tenant, the only person who may be able to succeed to the tenancy would be the remaining joint tenant. The remaining joint tenant must be living in the property as their only or principal home.
Q. What happens if it’s a sole tenancy? If the tenant who died was a sole tenant, if they were married or in a relationship, their spouse or partner may be able to take over the tenancy as long as there was no previous succession and they were living at the property as their only or principal home at the time of the tenant’s death.
Q. What happens if a sole tenant did not have a spouse or partner? It may be possible for another family member to take over the tenancy. They would need to be able to demonstrate they have been living at the property for at least 12 months before the tenant’s death. This won’t be possible if it was a starter tenancy.
Q. Which family members may be eligible to succeed? We will only consider requests for succession from the following family members.
• Parent, child or stepchild. • Brother or sister. • Niece or nephew. • Grandparent or grandchild. • Aunt or uncle.
Q. If I succeed to the tenancy, can I stay in the property permanently? When a person is eligible to succeed to a tenancy, we will always review whether the type and size of accommodation is suitable to the needs of the successor. If the property was designed or adapted for a person with needs and the successor doesn’t require this type of accommodation, we will ask them to move to something more suitable.
Q. What happens to someone who lives at the property and can’t succeed? If someone lives in one of our properties with a tenant who has died and they are not eligible to succeed, they can ask us about having their own tenancy. We may be able to use our discretion to give a person, in this situation, a new tenancy. Our decision will be based on an assessment of their housing need. If we are not able to help, we will provide them with our reasons and give advice about moving out and finding somewhere else to live.