Tenancy Succession

You might be able to stay in your council home if the person named on the tenancy agreement dies - this is called succession. If you can stay, it will mean you'll take over their tenancy - this is known as succeeding. 

You'll be responsible for paying the rent if you take over the tenancy - you'll usually need to pay rent from the date the previous tenant died. 

Being able to stay in your home and take over the tenancy will depend on things like: 

  • if you lived with them before they died - it will only count if it was your main home and not a temporary one 
  • if you were living together as a couple 
  • if you're related to the person who died 
  • how long you lived with the person who died 
  • the type of tenancy they had and how long they had it for 
  • what the tenancy agreement says - it might give you more rights to take over the tenancy 
  • your personal circumstances and how they match up with the type of property you are living in

You'll need to tell South Essex Homes that the person named on the tenancy agreement has died. 

There can only be one succession to a tenancy. If a succession has already happened, for example when one partner dies and the other one takes over the tenancy, it can't happen again. This means when the remaining partner dies, no one else will be able to take over the tenancy. 

If you don't have the legal right to succeed, if the property is too large for your needs or if it is adapted and you do not require those adaptations yourself - it's likely that you'll need to move to a new property.

We understand that dealing with such changes whilst grieving can be extremely difficult and emotionally challenging.  Our dedicated officers are here to provide guidance, support, and empathy throughout this process. We're committed to assisting you in finding a new home and making this transition as smooth as possible.

If you're a named tenant on the tenancy agreement, you'll keep the tenancy automatically and this is not classed as a succession of the tenancy. 


Taking over the tenancy  

You'll need to fill in a form and prove you have the right to take over the tenancy. 

After you tell us about the death, an officer will visit your property to assist with completing the form.  

You’ll need to provide evidence that you lived in the property, for example bank statements, bills or benefit letters. 

You might also need to provide: 

  • The death certificate of the deceased tenant 
  • A copy of the relevant certificate if you were married or in a civil partnership with the person who died 
  • Proof that the property was your main home for at least a year before the person died 
  • Proof that you currently live in the property 

Each situation is personal to each individual so if you have any questions relating to succession, please contact our Tenancy Team on 0800 833160 or email sehcustomerservices@seh.southend.gov.uk

If you want further assistance, you may wish to contact Citizens Advice Southend on 0344 4770808 or visit their website www.citizensadvice.org.uk