Assigning a tenancy transferring a tenancy to a new tenant

An assignment of the tenancy is when you transfer the tenancy or ‘sign over’ all the rights and responsibilities of the tenancy from the original tenant to the new tenant.

If your request for the transfer is due to the death of the current tenant this is called succession. In certain circumstances you may not have automatic rights to succeed. To notify us of the death of a tenant please complete our online form (you will be taken to a new page for this form).

Your right to assign your tenancy depends upon the type of tenancy you have and you will need our permission to sign over the tenancy. If you don’t follow the correct procedure, any attempt to assign the tenancy won’t be valid and we may begin eviction proceedings against anyone living in the property.

If you are a secure assured tenant, you can assign your tenancy to a:

  • spouse or civil partner
  • cohabiting partner (including same sex partnerships) or
  • another member of the family (this includes children, parents, siblings and most other close relatives).

The person wishing to take over the tenancy must have lived with you for at least 12 months as their main home.

You do not have the right to assign the tenancy if are a starter tenancy, an assured shorthold tenancy or a demoted tenancy.

We may be willing to transfer the tenancy in other situations but this depends upon your specific circumstance and the reason for your request.

When to consider assigning a tenancy

Assignment of a tenancy may be a good option if:

  • you want to move out but someone in your family wants to continue to live in the home
  • there is a change in circumstances – marriage (you want to change the tenancy from a sole tenancy to a joint tenancy) or divorce (you want to change the names on the tenancy from joint to sole).

It is important that your tenancy agreement reflects the people who are responsible for your home. If you are not on the tenancy agreement you will not enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as a named tenant. Similarly, if you leave a property and do not remove your name from the agreement you will still be jointly responsible for such things as rent arrears, even if you are not living there.

Other ways of transferring the tenancy

An assignment is not the only way to transfer the tenancy.

Other ways include:

  • Mutual exchange – this is when tenants agree to swap their homes (with our permission)
  • Tenancy transfer – when we agree to and allow you to move to another of our properties
  • Succession – the right of someone who lives with you to take over your tenancy when you die.
  • Court order – when the court orders that the transfer must take place as part of a divorce or separation proceedings. We could require proof of the court order in this case.


We would not unreasonably withhold permission to assign the tenancy but in certain circumstances we can refuse permission, if:

  • you have rent arrears
  • we have started eviction proceedings against you
  • the property has been adapted for a person with disabilities and there would no longer be a person with those disabilities living there
  • you were going to under-occupy the property.

Please complete our online form to request a tenancy assignment (you will be taken to a new page for this form).


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