You must make us aware of changes to your tenancy, or the people living in your property.
Adding or removing household members
It is important that you keep us up to date with who is living at your property.
This could include the birth of children or other household members moving in or out of the property.
You may want to add someone else’s name onto your tenancy. This could happen if you originally moved into the property as a single person, but you now have a partner.
You will need to get our permission to create the joint tenancy.
Please visit Your Account to let us know if someone new is living in your property. If you wish to add someone to your tenancy to create a joint tenancy, please contact us.
Change of name
If you have changed your name from what is on your original tenancy agreement or lease due to marriage, civil partnership, divorce, dissolution of civil partnership or by deed poll you will need to to let us know as soon as possible
A change of name does not involve adding or removing you or someone else from the tenancy agreement, and does not create a new tenancy.
As the tenant, it is your responsibility to inform all appropriate agencies, including the local Housing Benefit Authority of your name change.
On completion of the name change, we will send you (as the tenant) an acknowledgment letter to confirm the change. If you are in arrears the change does not affect any ongoing procedures, including legal action.
Supporting documentation e.g. ‘Change of Name Deed’ or ‘Marriage Certificate’ must also be provided.
Please visit My Account to make us aware of any changes to your legal name or contact us.
Death of a tenant
Dealing with the death of a friend or relative is never easy, and trying to deal with their affairs can be complicated and upsetting.
This page should help you through this difficult time by explaining what you need to do when a tenant of one of our properties dies.
Who should I inform?
You should tell us about the death of a tenant as soon as possible.You will need to provide us with the following:
- A copy of the death certificate
- Confirmation of the executor of the will, or letter of administration
We also recommend visiting What to do when someone dies on the .gov website.
Please contact us on 0300 555 5560 and speak with a customer service advisor.
What is a letter of administration?
A letter of administration provides evidence that you have legal responsibility to manage the estate if there is no will or executor. The Gov.uk website has guidance and advice on applying to become an administrator.
What if I have a joint tenancy with the person who has died?
If you are a joint tenant, you have the right to take over the tenancy and stay in your home. You are responsible for any overdue rent and any other money owed on the property. Please contact us or speak with your Neighbourhood Officer.
What about any outstanding rent balance?
Where a tenant dies, it is still necessary to bring the tenancy to an end. To do this a copy of the death certificate and four weeks’ notice is normally required. However, in some cases it may be possible to end it sooner. This will reduce the amount of rent due to be paid from the estate. Please let us know roughly when you intend to hand the keys in.
It is important to note that rent will continue to be payable until the keys are returned. If the tenant was receiving Housing Benefit, this will automatically end on death (some local authorities pay up to the Sunday after death).
This means that if you need to keep the keys for a while in order to clear the property, full rent will continue to be charged. This money will be owed from the estate of the late tenant. Please contact us to arrange for this to be cleared or let us know if there is a problem and we will try to help.
If there is an outstanding balance on the tenant’s rent account after the keys have been returned, we will seek to recover this balance from the estate. It will therefore be helpful if we are informed of who is dealing with the tenant’s affairs.
When a tenant dies, it may be possible for a husband, wife, civil partner, or other family member to take over the tenancy. This is known as Succession or Survivorship. The person who takes over the tenancy is called a Successor. Succession can only occur following the death of the tenant. If the deceased person was a joint tenant, the only person who may be able to succeed the tenancy would be the remaining joint tenant. A succession can only happen once. This means that if the deceased person was a successor (including a previous joint tenant), there cannot be a succession by another family member.
Our policy on succession reflects the current legal position and the rights of successors as laid out in the Housing Act 1985.To apply for Succession, you will need to complete the Succession application form and return it to your local office along with a copy of the death certificate.Supporting documentation must also be provided to show proof of your relationship with the tenant and residence for more than 12 months, e.g. utility bills or bank statements.
Once the application has been approved, a succession will be backdated to the date immediately after the tenant’s death. We will send an acknowledgement letter to the successor to confirm the Succession application has been approved. Please contact us or speak with your Neighbourhood Officer if you wish to discuss the succession of a tenancy.
What should I do before ending the tenancy?
We politely request that the property is handed back completely empty of furniture, carpets, curtains, and refuse, in a clean and tidy state.
Any items remaining in the property, or in the loft or garden, including a greenhouse or the tenant’s own shed, should be removed. If there are any articles left in the property or garden we may charge for their disposal.
Assignment is one of the ways a tenancy can be legally transferred from one person to another.
When a tenancy is assigned, all the rights and responsibilities of the tenancy pass from the you to the new tenant. You will need our permission to assign your tenancy to someone else. If you don’t follow the correct steps, any attempt to assign your tenancy won’t be valid.
Your rights after a tenancy is assigned
You lose all your rights as a tenant after you assign your tenancy to someone else. In most cases, if you continue to live in the property, the person you assigned the tenancy to becomes your landlord. Your legal status is an excluded occupier.
Assignment following the death of a tenant
In the event of a tenant’s death, most tenancies can be passed to a relative or family member, that the law says can succeed (inherit) the tenancy. Only one succession is normally allowed. For more information on the what to do when a tenant has died or further details on Succession and Survivorship in the section above.
The next steps
A “Form of Assignment” application must be completed by all parties to the agreement and returned to us. Supporting documentation must also be provided to show proof of residence for more than 12 months, e.g. utility bills or bank statements etc. The Tenancy Agreement provides Tenants with a contractual right of assignment and all applications will be considered to decide whether the request for assignment is reasonable. Starter Tenants’ have no rights to assign their tenancy.
All Assignments must be approved in writing by us before any changes to the Tenancy take place.
Once the Assignment has been agreed by us;
- The new tenant takes the property in the condition in which it stands at the date of the transfer and accepts liability for any damage caused by the original tenant.
- The new tenant accepts liability for any arrears of rent as at the date of assignment.
- If a postponed order for possession is in force at the time of assignment, the name of the new tenant will be substituted in place of the previous tenant on the order.
On completion of the Assignment we will send an acknowledgement letter to the tenant to confirm the change.
AN ASSIGNMENT DOES NOT CREATE A NEW TENANCY
Moving out and giving notice
Ending your tenancy properly is important, as it may leave you with problems in the future if you leave problems behind.
Please click here for further information on Moving out and giving notice.