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Assignment or succession of a tenancy agreement

Tenancies can sometimes be passed from one tenant to another person, depending on the circumstances and your relationship:

  • after a tenant has died, then a surviving spouse, partner or relative may be able to take over the tenancy and this is called “succession”; or
  • while the tenant is still living, a transfer between household members is called “assignment”.

In both situations, the law is quite complicated and will depend on what sort of tenancy arrangement the tenant has, who the landlord is, when the tenancy was taken out, what the tenancy agreement says and how long the person who hopes to take over the tenancy has been living there.

Legal advice on assignment of a tenancy

In some situations, the tenant is allowed to assign the tenancy to another family member without the landlord needing to consent or agree to the assignment and the process can be dealt with by the drawing up of a deed.

In other situations, the landlord’s consent will be required. Some tenancies cannot be assigned at all, or only to a spouse or partner.

The law is complicated and expert legal advice will be required to work out if a tenancy can be assigned and to draw up the necessary documentation.

Legal advice on succession of a tenancy

If a landlord considers that there are no persons in the household who are entitled to succeed to the tenancy after the death of the tenant, they may serve a notice and then start possession proceedings for eviction.

Dealing with a bereavement of a loved one can be made even harder to cope with if you are also worried about losing your home.

Our team have extensive experience in advising bereaved family members about their rights to succeed to a relatives’ tenancy and can help at all stages including initial advice, putting the case to the landlord prior to proceedings and then representation in proceedings if necessary.

Funding the cost of legal advice
  • In respect of assignment – Legal Aid is not available for advice and representation and these cases will need to be paid for privately. We are able to offer fixed fee packages for this work.
  • In respect of succession rights – Legal Aid is available (subject to your means and the merits of the case) for advice and representation after a landlord has served a notice and has indicated that they intend to bring possession proceedings.

If no notice has been served, then legal aid is not available, and we will have to consider other ways of funding your case including a fixed fee package if appropriate.

Contact us for expert legal advice

Based near Liverpool Street station in East London, we advise people right across London and beyond. We offer a comprehensive service, from initial advice to representation at court. The housing team is a member of the Housing Law Practitioners Association.

Contact our housing and property lawyers today, we are ready and waiting to help.



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