Last updated: 15 April 2024

Next review: 15 April 2025

Taking over a tenancy (succession)

If you live with a council tenant who dies, you could be eligible to take over their tenancy. The technical term for this is succession.

A council tenancy can only be succeeded to once.  If the tenant who had died became the tenant through succession, then you will not be able to succeed to the tenancy.

If you succeed to the tenancy of a home that is larger than you need then you may need to downsize to a smaller home.

Joint Tenants

Joint tenants will succeed to a tenancy on the death of the other tenant.  This counts as a succession.


Spouses, civil partners, or cohabiting partners (including same-sex couples) of the tenant are normally entitled to succeed, subject to residency requirements.   

Other family members

The rights of any other family members to succeed will depend on when the tenancy started. 

If the tenancy started before 1 April 2012, and there is no spouse or civil partner entitled to succeed, another family member can succeed if they were living with the tenant 12 for months before their death.  Family members include children, brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, nephew and nieces.

If the tenancy started after 1 April 2012 there is no right of succession for other family members.

Other successions

The Council may exceptionally agree a succession outside of the normal rules if:

  • You were a carer living with and providing care to the tenant at the time of their death
  • The property has disability adaptations that are needed by someone still living in the property

This is intended as a summary of the main rules.  For more details on the Council’s succession rules please see the Housing Allocation Scheme.

Apply for succession

You need to let us know within three months of the tenant’s death.

To do this, contact your housing officer today.

And they’ll arrange a home to visit discuss your succession options and eligibility.