Add or remove someone from a tenancy

There are two ways to add or remove someone from a council tenancy. Both options have advantages and disadvantages depending on your circumstances. It is important to speak with your local housing office before making any decisions.

You should get independent legal advice before making any changes to your tenancy.

1. End the existing tenancy and create a new sole or joint tenancy

You can ask us to end an existing tenancy and create a new one in order to add a joint tenant, or remove someone who no longer wants to be a tenant.

We make decisions on a case by case basis, and there is no guarantee that we will grant a new tenancy. When making a decision, we will consider:

  • the size of the property compared to the size of the household
  • if you have rent arrears
  • if there have been any tenancy issues, for example antisocial behaviour
  • how long you have lived there

An advantage of this option is that the new tenancy agreement creates a new right to succession. 

For joint tenants, this means that if either tenant dies, the remaining tenant will automatically inherit the tenancy

For sole tenants, other family members may be allowed to inherit the tenancy when they die.

2. Assignment of a tenancy

When you transfer your tenancy to someone else this is called assigning your tenancy. Only secure tenants can assign their tenancy.

You can assign your tenancy to someone else to:

  • remove yourself from a joint tenancy agreement so that they become the sole tenant
  • create a joint tenancy with them

A tenancy can only be assigned to one of the following:

  • a joint tenant (so that they become the sole tenant)
  • husbands, wives, civil partners or partners, as long as they have been living at the property
  • other family members who have lived at the property for 12 months or more

If a tenancy has been inherited or assigned before, it can’t be assigned again.

Choosing to assign your tenancy also means there’s no further right to succession, meaning that if one of the tenants dies, other occupants or family members won’t have the automatic right to inherit the tenancy.

The council may refuse permission to assign or issue a new tenancy in some circumstances. If we refuse your request, we will let you know why.

Contact us


0800 188 4000 or 0113 376 0410
(Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am to 5pm; Wednesday 10am to 5pm)

Post or in person

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