Succession and Assignment for Tenancies


Transfer of tenancy to someone else

On death of a tenant, the spouse or partner may have the right to take over the tenancy, as long as they have been living at the property for the last twelve months. This is called succession and, by law, succession to a tenancy can only happen once.

If a tenancy started on or before 31st March 2012 and the tenant passes away, another member of the tenant’s family, who has also lived at the property for the preceding twelve months, may qualify to succeed, if there is no spouse or partner.

However, there are new rules from April 2012 regarding succession, which only allows the spouse or partner to succeed to a tenancy that started on or after 1st April 2012. If there is no surviving spouse or partner, a succession will not take place. In these circumstances, if you are living in the deceased tenant’s property, you should seek advice from your Area Housing Manager about your housing options.


A tenancy may be assigned (transferred) to another person under certain circumstances. These are:

  • Qualifying successor – If you are a sole tenant and you have not already succeeded to the tenancy, you are able to assign your tenancy to someone who would qualify as a successor
  • Property Transfer Order – You can seek a Property Transfer Order through the court. If granted, the tenancy will be transferred to the person named by the Judge. This usually applies for divorce proceedings.
  • Mutual exchange – You are able to exchange your home with tenants of another local authority or registered social landlord. You will need to formally apply to exchange your home and obtain approval before you are allowed to move.
  • Assignments.