Dealing with Succession Claims
4.1 We will handle succession claims with care and sensitivity at a time of grief for family members and try to ascertain eligibility as soon as possible.
4.2 Statutory succession rights apply only to secure and flexible five-year tenancies. A non-secure tenant or licencee has no succession rights.
4.3 Once it has been established whether legal rights to succession apply, we will notify the decision as quickly as possible.
4.4 In the case of joint tenancy and 'survivorship', the tenancy is automatically succeeded by the remaining joint tenant and a new tenancy agreement is not issued. If the remaining tenant remarries, their new spouse or civil partner has no right to succeed the tenancy.
4.5 In the case of a sole tenancy, the following persons are eligible to succeed. The following order of priority applies;
- The deceased tenants' spouse or civil partner
- A partner or cohabitee living with the deceased as their spouse or civil partner
- A qualifying family member of the deceased (parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, half sibling, step sibling or illegitimate child) has the legal right to succeed to a tenancy signed pre 1st April 2012. These family members no longer have the statutory right to succession to tenancies that commenced after the 1st April 2012.A foster child does not qualify as a family member.
4.6 A spouse or civil partner is eligible to succeed to the tenancy provided they were in occupation at the date of the tenants' death. A family member or cohabitee may only succeed if they have lived at the property on a continuous basis, for at least twelve months prior to the death of the tenant.
4.7 Only one person can succeed to the tenancy and we will not allow joint successors. Where we receive more than one claim for succession and where the potential successors are unable to decide amongst themselves, we will decide based on the relationship with the deceased tenant, their housing need and whether there are any dependents.
4.8 A succession to a flexible five year tenancy is only for the remainder of the current fixed term. After which, the tenancy will be reviewed in accordance with our flexible tenancy review procedure.
4.9 Where statutory succession applies, a new tenancy agreement will not be issued as the successor succeeds to the existing tenancy with the same rights and obligations that existed at the time of the tenant' death.
4.10 Where discretion has been applied, a new tenancy agreement will need to be issued and it will be a flexible five-year tenancy.
4.11 We will investigate each claim for succession thoroughly and ask the applicant to provide evidence and documents in support of their claim such as;
- Confirmation of identity
- Household composition
- Death certificate of deceased tenant
- Proof of relationship to deceased tenant
- Proof of residency and length of residency
- Immigration status
- Interests in other property
4.12 If there is a suspicion of tenancy fraud taking place, we will refuse the succession claim and refer to our Tenancy Fraud Policy.
4.13 If no claim for succession is received, the tenancy is vested in the deceased tenants' estate and we will follow the process within our death of a tenant procedure.