You may feel the obligation to add a close family member to your council tenancy agreement if they have been living with you for a substantial amount of time. However, if they are not expected to share the expense of your council house rent or any other household bills; as well as take over any other responsibilities of a tenant, you need not add them to your tenancy agreement and continue sharing your council housing premises with them.

How Do I Add Someone To My Council Tenancy Islington?

You can add someone to your council tenancy by seeking permission from your local council office and following their guidelines with regards to changes in your tenancy agreement. Joint tenancies are usually applied in cases where:

  • The additional tenant is the resident’s husband, wife or civil partner
  • The additional tenant has been living with the resident as part of their household for at least 12 months
  • The additional tenant has succession rights and could inherit the tenancy 
  • The additional tenant has lived with the resident when they first moved into their council home

As joint tenants, both of you will become responsible for the following:

  • Timely payment of the rent
  • Protection and care of council property
  • Each other’s social attitudes

A disadvantage of adding someone to your tenancy agreement is that you may lose a significant proportion of the benefits you claim especially Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.

However, if your landlord or council authorities have evidence that you, as the primary tenant intend to move out of council housing in the near future, or that any of the eligibility criteria is not being met, they have the right to refuse the addition of another tenant to your tenancy agreement. They may continue to live with you as a household member but will not be able to claim tenancy rights.

To explore occupancy rights and responsibilities of council housing tenants, we will explore the following topics:

  • Can Someone Live With Me In My Council House?
  • Can Council Visit To Check Occupany Status?
  • Can My Daughter Take Over My Council House?
  • Can Council Houses Be Passed Down?
  • What Are The Different Types Of Tenancies For Council Housing?

Can Someone Live With Me In My Council House?

Yes, someone can live with you in your council house as they are generally intended for eligible candidates and their families; whether they are dependants or non-dependants. However, if you intend to ask someone to live with you as a carer or a joint tenant, or you intend to sublet your council house, you must consult your tenancy agreement and discuss with your landlord/local council office prior to making any commitments.

If you are under a Secure Tenancy or Fixed Tenancy agreement with the housing authorities, you may sub-let rooms in your council house; however, subletting of the entire council house is not allowed. You will find a clause in your tenancy agreement that confirms the same. Therefore, it is advisable not to add someone to your council house with the intention of subletting the premises.

Can Council Visit To Check Occupany Status?

Yes, council authorities can come to check the occupancy status of your home especially when you claim single-occupant benefits. Someone can live with you in your council house as they are generally intended for eligible candidates and their families; whether they are dependants or non-dependants. However, if you intend to ask someone to live with you as a carer or a joint tenant, or you intend to sublet your council house, you must consult your tenancy agreement and discuss with your landlord/local council office prior to making any commitments.

If you are on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, any changes to the number of people in your home might have an impact on the amount of benefit you were receiving prior to them moving in especially if they are expected to contribute towards the rent. 

If you are not on benefits, you only have to inform your landlord and council authorities of the addition of occupants to your household especially if they are expected to share the rent with you. There is a possibility that your tenancy agreement will need to be changed to adjust for joint tenancy. 

If you are under a Secure Tenancy or Fixed Tenancy agreement with the housing authorities, you may sub-let rooms in your council house; however, subletting of the entire council house is not allowed. You will find a clause in your tenancy agreement that confirms the same. Therefore, it is advisable not to add someone to your council house with the intention of subletting the premises.

Can My Daughter Take Over My Council House?

Yes, your daughter can take over your council house if you are able to fulfil the following conditions:

  • The council house is her main home
  • She has lived there for at least 12 months 
  • It is a secure tenancy
  • There is no partner to inherit the council housing tenancy

If the tenancy agreement of the premises in question started before April 1, 2012, your daughter will gain succession rights to the council house. However, if the tenancy agreement started on or after April 1, 2012, she will have succession rights only if she meets all the conditions that are pre-set in the tenancy agreement.

In order to show evidence that you’ve lived in your parent’s home for at least 12 months prior to their death, you may need to provide bank statements, bills or letters addressed to you, marking the council property as your postal address. However, if there is a surviving spouse or unmarried partner, their right of succession will supersede yours.

If you and your daughter were joint tenants to the council housing property, she will become the sole tenant if you move out of the premises. However, if there has already been a previous succession of the property in question, a second succession may not be possible; until there is an exception made by council authorities. 

You can take help from your local Citizen’s Advice office.

Can Council Houses Be Passed Down?

Yes, council houses can be passed down but this can only be applied once per the tenancy agreement. For instance, if the tenancy has passed down from one person to another, the successor will not be able to pass it down again. The only exception to this rule may be the permission for “second succession” or “discretionary succession” granted by local council authorities in their council tenancy agreement with renters.

In addition to this, the type of tenancy also plays an important role in deciding on the succession of a renter. Let’s analyse the different situations that apply in the case of succession of tenancy:

  • The succession of a council house in case of joint tenancy: A joint succession agreement includes two (or more) tenants as the renters who share the responsibility of maintaining responsibilities towards the property. In this case, if one tenant dies, the tenancy is automatically passed on to the surviving tenant. However, it is essential for the successor to maintain the council property as their main residence.
  • The succession of a council house in case of sole tenancy: In most cases, council house tenancy can be passed down to the surviving partner/spouse/civil or unmarried partner of a deceased tenant through “succession rights”. However, it is essential for the partner to be living in the council house at the time of the demise of their partner in whose name the tenancy agreement is. In some cases, it may also be passed down to close family members if the deceased is your parent or grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, child, grandchild, niece or nephew.

As a general rule, in the case of succession rights, the rights of surviving partners override those of close family members.

What Are The Different Types Of Tenancies For Council Housing?

A tenancy agreement serves as a legal agreement bound by terms and conditions that the undersigning parties agree to while a living space is rented out. Tenancy agreements for council housing may be classified as below:

  • Introductory Tenancy: This is considered to be a 12 month trial period for tenants during which their rights to exchange property or make modifications to it are limited. 
  • Secure Tenancy: This form of tenancy secures your occupancy in the council house for life; unless you break any tenancy rules stated in the agreement. In this case, you may sub-let rooms in the property but not the entire premises. 
  • Flexible Tenancy: This type of tenancy is usually for a fixed term of 2 to 5 years; at the end of which the council may decide to offer you a renewed contract on similar terms, offer a secure tenancy or not renew at any terms at all. 
  • Joint Tenancy: Under this contract, you and the joint tenant both become liable for rent payments and become eligible for all the privileges under secure tenancy jointly. 

Conclusion:

You will be able to add someone to your tenancy agreement primarily depending on the duration and type of your council housing tenancy. As joint tenants, they will become equally responsible for sharing the responsibilities as council tenants; however, they must meet the eligibility criteria set by the council authorities. 

As a Secure Tenant, you can simply request your local council office for a modification in your tenancy agreement. They might require you to share certain pieces of evidence as supportive documents for your request and ask you to fill an application form. On the basis of the eligibility criteria and the documents provided by you, a modified tenancy agreement will be made; requiring you and your joint tenant to acknowledge your tenancy rights and responsibilities in writing.   

FAQs: How Do I Add Someone To my Council Tenancy Islington?

Can I put my boyfriend on my tenancy?

Yes, you can add your boyfriend to your council tenancy if he doesn’t have a property in his name and is living in your council house permanently.

Can my friend stay in my council house?

This depends on the nature and duration of your friend’s stay with you. If they are living with you as a joint tenant you may need to have a new tenancy agreement in place. However, if they are living with you as a lodger you may not need to inform your local council if you are a Secure Tenant.

Can I add my son to my housing association tenancy UK?

You cannot automatically add your son to a tenancy agreement as you would need to seek the council’s permission and have a new agreement in place stating your son as a joint tenant. If you don’t intend your son to contribute to the house rent, you also have the option of assigning tenancy to him so that he may inherit the council house on the basis of rights of succession.

Can two people be on a tenancy agreement?

While it is not mandatory to add someone to your tenancy agreement just because they share a council house with you, but two people can be on a tenancy agreement. This is called a Joint Tenancy which allows both tenants to enjoy tenancy rights and makes both of them eligible for rent payments.

Can I put my partner on my council tenancy agreement?

Yes, you can add your partner to your council tenancy agreement. However, if you are unmarried partners, they must live with you in the council house for at least 12 months prior to being a joint tenant. In case of a civil partnership or marriage, you have the option of a joint tenancy agreement as well as assigning your council house tenancy by way of right of succession.

References:

Adding someone to your social tenancy | Housing Advice NI

Council want to inspect my property – Property118

Can you inherit a council tenancy?

Staying in your council home when someone dies

Council housing: Types of tenancy

Can someone live with me in my council house?

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