Wealden District Council

Making Changes To My Tenancy

In this section you can find information on what changes you can make to a tenancy and how you can do this.

The tenancy is a joint tenancy and one person has left.

  • If you have a joint tenancy, then it is not a simple procedure to remove one persons name from the tenancy agreement.
  • If the joint tenant has left the property and has no intention to return, they remain liable for that tenancy.
  • If you are a couple your solicitor could obtain a court order in favour of one or other of you. The Council then have to make the tenancy changes according to the court decision. This is called a property adjustment order. This is the most certain way of changing the tenancy into one persons name.
  • You can also seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Can my partner join my tenancy?

You can request to add your partner to your tenancy. In most cases, the expectation is that the request for a joint tenancy will be made before the tenancy starts. It is not usual practice to grant joint tenancies to anyone other than a partner. Partner includes civil partnership and those living together as a couple.

Wealden District Council will consider any request but are not obliged to grant a joint tenancy. The decision whether to agree a request will take into account the provisions contained in the Housing Act 1985. As with all matters of this nature, you are encouraged to seek independent legal advice from a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau before proceeding.

What happens in the event of the death of a sole tenant?

In the event of the death of a sole tenant who lived alone, the next of kin should give the Council four weeks written notice to bring the tenancy to an end. The Housing Officer will also ask for a copy of the death certificate.

The next of kin should contact the Housing Department for advice as to how to deal with the tenancy. It will also be necessary to inform Housing Benefit and Council Tax. Any outstanding charges at the end of the tenancy are charged to the estate of the late tenant.

I wish to bring my tenancy to an end, how do I do this?

You can end your tenancy by completing the appropriate form. You must do this at least four clear weeks before the date you want the tenancy to end. The four weeks must end on a Monday.

  • Notice to end Tenancy form
  • Give notice on Retirement Living Property form

You should always think carefully before giving up your tenancy, particularly where it is a secure tenancy in case it will affect your rights to Council housing in the future.

You will also be required to give four weeks notice if you are transferring to a Housing Association property.

If you are a flexible fixed term tenant, the process is exactly the same, however, if there are arrears or a material breach of the tenancy conditions, the Council does not have to accept the notice and your tenancy will not end. In this instance you can ask for the council to accept a surrender of your tenancy.

Please contact your Housing Officer to discuss arrangements for vacating your property, and also to arrange for a property inspection to be carried out.

Addition information below for Secure and Flexible Fixed Term tenants only

The rules relating to secure and Flexible Fixed Term tenancies are contained in the Housing Act 1985, only tenants with these types of tenancies have the following rights to carry out a mutual exchange or succession rights.

Can I give my tenancy to someone else? (Assignment)

If you no longer wish to live in your home you can, under certain circumstances pass it onto someone else. This is called an assignment. Tenancies can only be assigned in the following circumstances:

  • A sole tenant can assign to a potential successor provided there has been no previous succession
  • An exchange with another tenant, known as a mutual exchange

What happens to my tenancy if I die? (Succession)

For tenancies which started before 1st April 2012 the Housing Act 1985 does permit a relative who is not a partner to succeed to a secure tenancy in certain circumstances. For tenancies granted after 1st April 2012 only a partner can succeed.

Does the size of the property matter?

  • If you are the spouse of the previous tenant, you will succeed to their tenancy at the same address.
  • If you are not the spouse of the previous tenant and are entitled to succeed to the tenancy, you may be asked to move to alternative accommodation. There are legal sanctions available to require the non-spouse successor to move and we will exercise this right if agreement has not been reached after a reasonable length of time.

What happens if there is more than one person entitled to succeed?

  • Only one person can succeed, so where there is more than one person entitled to succeed, the tenancy will normally be passed to the eldest person.
  • Alternatively, potential successors can decide amongst themselves. If potential successors cannot agree who takes over the tenancy, we will decide.
  • Please contact the Housing Officer for advice on succession.

Housing Benefit

If you make any changes to your tenancy it might be necessary to inform the housing benefit department via the Tell Our Benefits Team of a Change in Your Circumstance page