What happens to the tenancy when someone dies?
When someone dies, we understand it is a very emotional and difficult time. Unfortunately, there are always some formalities to carry out. The following will hopefully give you some practical help and support in making the arrangements you need to.
You will need to contact us to let us know that the tenant has died. It may be possible for family members to take over the tenancy; this is called succession, if they are:
- The deceased tenant's husband, wife or partner (including same sex couples and civil partners).
- The deceased tenant's son, daughter, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece), who has lived with the tenant for the previous year. We will need to see evidence of this.
We will give priority to the tenant's husband, wife or partner followed by a family member.
What happens if there has already been one succession?
Unfortunately, by law a second succession is not possible.
However, in some cases, if the successor tenant dies we may give a new tenancy where someone has:
- Been continuously living with the tenant for a year, or
- Has been looking after the tenant as their carer, or
- Has accepted responsibility for the tenant's dependants.
We will need to see evidence of the above.
Can we ask you to move from the property if you take over the tenancy and are the successor?
Sometimes if the property has been specifically adapted or designed for the elderly or disabled or is too large for the person succeeding to the tenancy we may ask them to move to a more suitable property. We will explain the reasons for this and offer an alternative.
What if the deceased tenant is a joint tenant?
If the deceased tenant was a joint tenant and there had not been a previous succession, the surviving tenant will become the tenant. No further successions will be allowed.
What happens if I do not qualify for succession?
If you cannot succeed to the tenancy we will write to you to explain this. We will ask you to complete a housing application form so that we can use this information to assess your needs. If this assessment shows that you are entitled to housing, we may offer you alternative accommodation.
If we are unable to offer you alternative accommodation we will ask you to make arrangements to leave the property. We may take Court action to ensure that this happens.