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You can pass your home on to somebody when you die, by succession or assignment. To do this, you should contact our Housing Services team.

Passing of a tenancy by succession

Succession means the passing of a tenancy from a secure tenant to his/her spouse or family member on death, subject to certain rules.

For tenancies granted before 2012

The tenancy could pass to:

  • a joint tenant who will automatically get the tenancy when the other tenant dies
  • a husband, wife, civil partner or partner who was living in the property when the tenant died
  • another member of the family who was living in the property for at least 12 months before the tenant died. In this instance, if the property is too big for the remaining family member, the council can apply to the court for possession of the property. The family member may be offered another suitable place to live.

Only one succession is allowed by law. So if your husband, wife, civil partner, partner or other family member dies and you get the tenancy, the tenancy cannot pass it to someone else on your death.

For tenancies granted on or after 1 April 2012

Only the spouse or civil partner of the tenant has a statutory right to succeed. No other family members have the right to succeed.

This includes those occupying the home and who were living with the late tenant as wife or husband.

This rule also applies if you are assigning your tenancy to someone.

Passing your home on by assignment

Assignment means transferring your tenancy to another person.

You have the right to assign your tenancy to somebody who would be entitled to succeed to it when you die. We will not agree to this if the property would be too big for the people you want to transfer it to.

If you are thinking of assigning your property, you are advised to take legal advice first. After you have assigned your property you lose the legal right to live there. The new tenant could ask you to leave. We may not be able to help rehouse you.

Local community law centres can offer you free advice and information.