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Succession in council tenancy

Two brothers in Essex are facing eviction from their council home after their family has lived there for 73 years.

The brothers, aged 58 and 68, were told by the council that they had to leave following the death their brother November 2011. Their father, who was the original tenant, died in 1986 and the succession in council tenancy was passed to their now deceased brother.

The local authority is now refusing to allow the brothers to remain in the property and say that the succession in council tenancy can only be transferred once in the same family.

Swain & Co.’s housing team say council tenancies can usually only be succeeded once. For secure tenants of local authorities, a tenancy will automatically be succeeded by the other joint tenant if one exists, or else can usually be succeeded by a partner or other family member if they were living in the property at the time of death.

If the person who succeeded the tenancy then dies, the tenancy will not usually be able to be succeeded by a further partner or family member.

The legal position is different for private tenants and tenants of housing associations or other registered social landlords. Our housing solicitors say it is important to check the type of tenancy held by the deceased and to seek legal advice.

There are some exceptions to the general principles of succession, which can depend on a particular local authority’s given policies or the contents of a tenancy agreement. In some circumstances, a further succession will be allowed.

For specialist advice on housing or landlord and tenant matters, contact us on 02392 483322 (Portsmouth/Havant) or 02380 631111 (Southampton).

This article was written by Shane Galvin

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