Tenancy succession and assignment


If the lead tenant in a household dies, the tenancy may pass to their partner or close family member. This is called succession and can only happen if they have been living in the property as their main home for more than 12 months before the lead tenant’s death and can prove this.

There is only one right to succession; so if a tenancy has already been passed to you, there will not be a further right to succeed to the tenancy in the event of your death.

If the home is too large for the successor and they would not normally be eligible for it, we may ask them to move to a smaller property. This only applies to other family members and not to spouses or civil partners, who will be able to stay in the same home.

If your home is specially designed for someone who has a disability, but they no longer live there, we may ask you to move. In these cases we will offer you another home.

If there is a dispute about who should succeed to the tenancy, and no agreement can be made, we can decide who the new tenant will be.

In all cases, the successor will only succeed to a sole tenancy.

Contact your housing office to request to succeed to a tenancy.


Assignment means completely passing your tenancy rights to someone else and moving out of your home. This could be to:

  • a partner if they are not a joint tenant, but please be aware you may lose all rights to your tenancy
  • a family member who has lived with you permanently for at least the previous 12 months and can prove this
  • through a mutual exchange with another tenant (this does not have to be another Merlin tenant).

It is a condition of your tenancy that you must not assign your tenancy without obtaining our written consent first. If you do, you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement, and we may seek a possession order against you. This would mean that you, or whoever is living in your home, would be evicted.