Succession to a tenancy

Succession is a legal term used when a person takes over a tenancy when the tenant dies and relates to the statutory right of certain people to succeed to a tenancy following the death of a tenant. We call a person who inherits a tenancy the “successor”. There are different rules for succession depending on the type of tenancy agreement the tenant held. These rules are laid down in both law and in our tenancy policy.

Only one succession is permitted for each property meaning that it is not possible to succeed into a property where the deceased tenant had already succeeded into it. However we may allow some additional family members to succeed to a tenancy in limited circumstances. This is called a discretionary succession.

Succession to a secure tenancy (Click to expand)

The following legal conditions apply to a succession to a secure tenancy that was granted before 1 April 2012 and where no prior succession has taken place:

  • A spouse or civil partner has priority and must have been living with the deceased at the time of death. 
  • If there is no spouse or civil partner a qualifying family member can succeed if residing with the late tenant for 12 months prior to death.
  • The spouse or civil partner do not need to downsize if under occupying. Family members would need to downsize if under occupying (no downsizing incentive is paid).

The following conditions apply to a succession to a secure tenancy that was granted after 1 April 2012 and where no prior succession has taken place

  • Only a tenant’s spouse or civil partner can succeed where they occupied the home as their only or principal home at time of death. The tenancy cannot pass to other family members.
Succession to a flexible tenancy

The following conditions apply to a succession to a flexible tenancy and where no prior succession has taken place;

  • Only a tenant’s spouse or civil partner can succeed where they occupied the home as their only or principal home at time of death. The tenancy cannot pass to other family members.
Discretionary Succession

Certain requirements must be met for a discretionary succession to be granted. These requirements include:

  • must meet the qualifying family member criteria as set out in our tenancy policy
  • must meet the qualifying residency period prior to the death of the tenant as set out in our tenancy policy
  • may need to meet additional requirements based on the type of tenancy held by the tenant

Please check our tenancy policy (opens new window) for the current rules on discretionary succession.

 

How to apply to succeed a tenancy

To make an application you must first contact us so that we can assess your eligibility and advise you on the documentation that you must provide to us in support of your application. We will then send you the application form which you would need to complete in full and return to us.

Call: 0800 358 3783
Email: housing.enquiries@westminster.gov.uk