Taking over a tenancy when someone dies
When a tenant dies it may be possible for a relative or partner who was living with him/her at the time of death to take over the tenancy, depending on the type of tenancy held. By partner we mean a husband, wife or someone who lives with the tenant, as their partner as the time of their death. This is called succession.
Key points about succession rights
- Succession is immediate and automatic when a tenant dies, and it will happen whether or not West Kent agrees if the potential successor meets the statutory requirements.
- Where there is no obvious successor, we will serve Notice to Quit on the property and/or the Public Trustee if the tenant dies intestate. We'll send a notice to vacate to any non-successor or occupiers in the property (See also 'Ending someone's tenancy' where there is no successor, on this page.)
- We will advise non-successors of their rights to apply to the local housing register, where they will usually have reasonably high priority. We will charge weekly use and occupation charges until they leave. They will have to pay the weekly charge and take responsibility for any damage and clearing items belonging to them. Not paying the charges, causing damage or not clearing the property could become grounds for excluding the non-successor from being housed in other West Kent properties.
- We will visit tenants who have succeeded to a tenancy within four to five weeks of the succession approval, to check there are no issues or see if any advice is needed.
- Succession to children (minors) is now possible. It has been accepted that a child can have a tenancy held on trust for them by an adult until they are 18. A suitable adult will hold a legal tenancy and the child an ‘equitable tenancy’.
Full details of our Succession Policy.