Oxford City Council

PO Box 10, Oxford, OX1 1EN
Tel 01865 249811
Web http://www.oxford.gov.uk/


Tenancy transfer on death

Who can take over a tenancy?
What happens if there is no one eligible to take over a tenancy?

Who can take over a tenancy?

A secure tenancy allows certain people the right to take over a tenancy when a tenant dies. They are:

  • A Spouse or Civil Partner

A spouse or civil partner must have occupied the property as their only or principal home at the time of the tenant's death

  • Relatives including blood and step relatives, but not cousins

The tenancy must have started before April 2012 and the family member must have resided with the tenant as their only or principal home continuously for the 12 months immediately prior to the tenant's death. The twelve-month period need not have been in the same property, e.g. the tenant was transferred by Oxford City Council or mutually exchanged tenancies.

  • Co-habiting opposite sex couples who are regarded as family members

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 does not allow for co-habiting, same sex couples, without a civil partnership, to take over a tenancy.


  • There can only be one successor to a tenancy
  • A spouse or civil partner will usually take precedence over a family member where more than one person is entitled to succeed
  • If the tenant was a successor, there is no further right to succeed
  • A succession will also have been created by an assignment to a person qualified to succeed
  • Mutual Exchanges are not succession unless the tenant was a successor in relation to the tenancy being assigned by way of exchange (s88 (3) 1985 Act)

What happens if there is no one eligible to take over a tenancy?

If there is no one eligible to succeed under law the tenancy will come to an end.

Anyone living in the property would have to leave.

However, it is our policy to offer a new tenancy to certain remaining relatives who would have succeeded if there had not been a previous succession. For example the adult child of a tenant whose tenancy started before April 2012.

They would have no right to remain in the property, but would be moved to appropriate accommodation. For example a one bed flat if they were on their own.

Page last updated 24 October 2014

Tenancy Management Team

St Aldate's Chambers

109 St Aldate's



01865 252372

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