Can you add someone to your council tenancy?
If you are a social tenant and are the only one living in your council flat or house you may be wondering if it is possible to add someone to your tenancy. The answer is Yes but you will first need to get the Housing Executive or housing association's permission to create a joint tenancy.
When you add someone to your council tenancy they will become jointly liable in the agreement with you.
You can add as many people as you want to your council tenancy and they will all be equally responsible for paying the rent and abiding to the rental agreement.
This means you can all be evicted if one person fails to abide to the rental agreement.
To add someone to your council tenancy they will have to meet one of these criteria below:
- is your spouse or civil partner
- would have a right to inherit your property if you were to die
- was part of your household when you were given this tenancy
- has been living with you for at least a year.
Your landlord can still refuse to grant a joint tenancy even if you meet the criteria above.
Your landlord can do this if they suspect that the person you want to add to your tenancy will not actually be living at the property or has plans to move out of the property shortly after.
If you have been refused the right to add someone to your tenancy agreement and you feel you should have been granted this right then contact your local citizens advice unit on what to do.
Housing Benefit and Universal Credit for joint tenants
Once you become a joint tenant you will have to claim benefits together if you are a couple or separately if you aren't. The housing benefit you will be able to claim will be based on your portion of the rent.
It may not be possible to claim housing benefits if you have previously resided in the house as a non-dependant of the main tenant. This means you have lived there before under a sublet understanding or agreement with the main tenant.
You should seek some legal advice before becoming a joint tenant or adding a joint tenant to your council agreement.
Do you need to add someone to your council tenancy?
No, you don't need to add someone to your tenancy for them to be living with you. The home is yours as long as you pay for it and you can have anyone live in it. You just need to let your landlord know that someone is going to be moving in but you do not need your social housing landlords permission.
Anyone who moves in to live with you will have no legal rights in the property as he or she is not named on the tenancy agreement. If you want to add the person to your tenancy agreement you need your landlord's permission to do so.
If the person who moves into your property pays rent then you will need to inform your landlord and you will need your landlords permission as this person is essentially a sub-tenant.
If the person who is living with you and paying rent is a member of your family then that person will not be able to claim any housing benefit to pay the rent.
How does subletting affect your housing benefits?
If you currently get universal credit or housing benefits and there are people living in your home who aren't dependant on then your housing benefit or universal credit will be affected as the government will assume that these people are in some way enabling you financially. This could be through contributing to rent, food or in some other way.
The government will do this whether the people living with you or are giving you money or not as its cheaper and easier for them to guess rather than try to disprove any claim.
The government will charge you a deduction( non-dependant deduction) for every adult person who is living with you.
Can my son or daughter take over my housing association tenancy?
You will usually only be able to give your tenancy to your son or daughter after you have passed on. The chosen family member will have had to be living in the property during the past 12 months for them to be eligible.
A tenancy can only be passed on once - so if you've taken on a family member's tenancy yourself - you won't be able to pass it on again.
Can I take over a council tenancy?
This answer relates to the question. The same principles apply. You will only be able to take over a council tenancy if you have lived in the property for the last 12 months and upon the death of the main tenant
What happens to a council tenancy when someone dies?
When someone dies the council tenancy may be passed on to someone who has lived in the property for the past 12 months by way of succession.
For you to take over a council tenenacy when someone dies you will need to be a qualifying person.
To be a qualifying person and take over a council tenancy when someone dies you will need to:
- Have been a joint tenant with the person who died( you will be liable for any missed or overdue rent)
- Be a member of the tenants family who has lived there for the past 12 months
- Be the tenant's wife, husband, civil partner and have lived in the property as any of those. The property must have been your main or only home for at least 6 months.
There may be many qualfying persons and they could all have valid claims to take over a tenancy but they will be ranked in this order:
- Any joint tenants
- husband, wife, partner or civil partner
- other family members
- The tenant's carers
If more than one person has a valid and equal claim to the council tenancy then they will have to decide who takes over the council tenancy or the housing association or landlord will decide for them.
You may also be able to take over the council tenancy of someone who died if you were there carer.
You will need to:
- Be over 16 years of age
- Be classed as a carer
- the home to be your only or main home at the time of the tenant’s death; and
- you must have given up your only or main home to care for the tenant or member of the tenant’s family.