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Tenancy advice for the bereaved

Succession

Succession is a legal term used when a person takes over a tenancy when the tenant dies. We call a person who inherits a tenancy the “successor”.

You can only succeed the tenancy if the council approves your claim. There are rules that we need to be satisfied your claim complies with, before we can consider you as a successor tenant. These rules are laid down in law and council policy. 

Succession can be complicated. You must speak with your neighbourhood officer to discuss if you are eligible. They will tell you what documentation you will need to provide.

Succession is only possible if the deceased tenant was not a successor to the tenancy themselves.

Who can succeed to a tenancy depends on the date the tenancy was granted.

Succession may occur:

  • only for the spouse or civil partner if the tenancy was granted after 1st April 2012
  • for qualifying family members or carers if the tenancy commenced before 1 April 2012. This only applies where there is no married partner or previous succession. The family member or carer must have lived with the tenant for 12 months before the tenant's death. The council can move successors to smaller properties suitable to their needs if they are under-occupying
  • if the tenant was married to or in a civil partnership with the potential successor and were living together at the time of death.