Can I Add My Son To My Council Tenancy In The UK?

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Depending on your tenancy type, there are a few options available to tenants when it comes to adding another family member or passing it down to them. Through this article, we will learn whether someone can add their child to their council tenancy in the UK. In addition to this, we will also explore whether council houses can be succeeded pr passed down as well as explore the different types of council housing tenancies.

Can I Add My Son To My Council Tenancy In The UK?

Yes, you can add your son to your council tenancy in the UK. However, you need to make sure that you have written permission from your landlord for this. 

In fact, you can add any family member to your council tenancy as long as your council authorities or social housing landlord have granted you permission to do so.

In case you choose to become a joint tenant with your son, you should know that joint tenancies are usually applied in either of the following situations:

  • The additional tenant is the resident’s husband, wife or civil partner
  • The additional tenant has been living with the resident as part of their household for at least 12 months
  • The additional tenant has succession rights and could inherit the tenancy 
  • The additional tenant has lived with the resident since they first moved into their council home

As joint tenants, both of you will become responsible for the following:

  • Timely payment of the rent
  • Protection and care of council property
  • Each other’s social attitudes

A disadvantage of adding someone to your tenancy agreement is that if you were claiming benefits, you may lose a significant proportion of the benefits you claim especially Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.

However, if your landlord or council authorities have evidence that you, as the primary tenant intend to move out of council housing in the near future, or that any of the eligibility criteria is not being met, they have the right to refuse the addition of another tenant to your tenancy agreement. They may continue to live with you as a household member but will not be able to claim tenancy rights.

Can My Children Take Over My Council House?

Yes, your children can take over your council house if they are able to fulfil the following conditions:

  • The council house is their main home
  • They have lived there for at least 12 months 
  • It is a secure tenancy
  • There is no partner to inherit the council housing tenancy

If the tenancy agreement of the premises in question started before April 1, 2012, your children will gain succession rights to the council house if they have lived at least a year with you. However, if the tenancy agreement started on or after April 1, 2012, they will have succession rights only if they meet all the conditions that are pre-set in the tenancy agreement.

Can Someone Live With Me In My Council House?

Yes, someone can live with you in your council house whether you are living in Islington or any other council district. Council houses are generally intended for eligible candidates and their families; whether they are dependants or non-dependants. However, if you intend to ask someone to live with you as a carer or a joint tenant, or you intend to sublet your council house, you must consult your tenancy agreement and discuss it with your landlord/local council office prior to making any commitments.

If you are under a Secure Tenancy or Fixed Tenancy agreement with the housing authorities in Islington, you may sub-let rooms in your council house; however, subletting of the entire council house is not allowed. You will find a clause in your tenancy agreement that confirms the same. Therefore, it is advisable not to add someone to your council house with the intention of subletting the premises.

Can Council Houses Be Passed Down?

Yes, council houses can be passed down but this can only be applied once per the tenancy agreement. For instance, if the tenancy has been passed down from one person to another, the successor will not be able to pass it down again. The only exception to this rule may be the permission for “second succession” or “discretionary succession” granted by local council authorities in their council tenancy agreement with renters.

In addition to this, the type of tenancy also plays an important role in deciding on the succession of a renter. Let’s analyse the different situations that apply in the case of succession of tenancy:

  • The succession of a council house in case of joint tenancy: A joint succession agreement includes two (or more) tenants as the renters who share the responsibility of maintaining responsibilities towards the property. In this case, if one tenant dies, the tenancy is automatically passed on to the surviving tenant. However, it is essential for the successor to maintain the council property as their main residence.
  • The succession of a council house in case of sole tenancy: In most cases, council house tenancy can be passed down to the surviving partner/spouse/civil or unmarried partner of a deceased tenant through “succession rights”. However, it is essential for the partner to be living in the council house at the time of the demise of their partner in whose name the tenancy agreement is. In some cases, it may also be passed down to close family members if the deceased is your parent or grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, child, grandchild, niece or nephew.

As a general rule, in the case of succession rights, the rights of surviving partners override those of close family members.

Can Council House Be Passed Down Without Succession Rights?

There are times when someone without succession rights would like to stay in a council house vacated either by the tenant’s choice to move out or their death. In such a situation, the interested party may file an application with the local council or the housing association landlord.

Their application has a greater chance of acceptance if the previous tenant was under a secure tenancy agreement and if the current applicant:

  • had been sharing the council house with the previous tenant for at least one year
  • had been taking care of the previous tenant
  • had taken the responsibility for the previous tenant’s children (if any)

If the applicant fulfils any of the above criteria, the council may consider allowing them to continue living in the same property under a new tenancy agreement or find more suitable council housing premises for them.

What Happens When Council House Tenancy Cannot Be Passed Down?

If the council decides that you do not qualify to be a successor for council house tenancy, they will give you a 4-week notice to vacate the premises. However, if tenants fail to meet this deadline, council authorities can get a court order issued for the vacation of premises. Unless the tenant shows evidence of their right to success, the local council will not be able to stop or delay the eviction process.

If a tenant is afraid of being homeless as a result of this eviction they can get help from the council.

In some cases, you may be asked to evict the premises as the current council house is in excess of your needs and the council has been able to find a more suitable property to meet your requirements.

What Are The Different Types Of Tenancies For Council Housing?

A tenancy agreement serves as a legal agreement bound by terms and conditions that the undersigning parties agree to while a living space is rented out. Tenancy agreements for council housing may be classified as below:

  • Introductory Tenancy: This is considered to be a 12 month trial period for tenants during which their rights to exchange property or make modifications to it are limited. 
  • Secure Tenancy: This form of tenancy secures your occupancy in the council house for life; unless you break any tenancy rules stated in the agreement. In this case, you may sub-let rooms in the property but not the entire premises. 
  • Flexible Tenancy: This type of tenancy is usually for a fixed term of 2 to 5 years; at the end of which the council may decide to offer you a renewed contract on similar terms, offer a secure tenancy or not renew at any terms at all. 
  • Joint Tenancy: Under this contract, you and the joint tenant both become liable for rent payments and become eligible for all the privileges under secure tenancy jointly. 


The discussion in the blog post makes it clear that if a council housing tenant wishes to add their child or children for that matter to their council tenancy they can do so as long as they have permission from their landlord in writing. This may either be done by way of a joint tenancy agreement or through rights of succession that allow children of the deceased’s parents to continue living in the same council house.

FAQs: Can I Add My Son To My Council Tenancy In The UK?

Can I add my son to my housing association tenancy in the UK?

You cannot automatically add your son to a tenancy agreement as you would need to seek the council’s permission and have a new agreement in place stating your son as a joint tenant. If you don’t intend your son to contribute to the house rent, you also have the option of assigning tenancy to him so that he may inherit the council house on the basis of rights of succession.

Can I transfer my council house tenancy to someone else?

Yes, as a secure or flexible tenant, you can transfer your council house tenancy to someone else. However, priority will be given to your partner/spouse or close family member who has shared the premises with you for at least 12 months.

Can you inherit a council tenancy?

Yes, you can inherit a council tenancy but this can only be done once. After one succession of tenancy, you will need to seek permission from the council authorities for a second succession which is usually uncommon unless the local council decides to make an exception. 

Can someone live with me in my council house?

Yes, anyone can live with you in your council house. However, they won’t be able to enjoy the rights of a tenant unless their name is on the tenancy agreement. For this purpose, you may have to convert your tenancy agreement to a joint one.

How many times can a house be passed down?

Council houses can be passed down but this can only be applied once per the tenancy agreement. For instance, if the tenancy has been passed down from one person to another, the successor will not be able to pass it down again. The only exception to this rule may be the permission for “second succession” or “discretionary succession” granted by local council authorities in their council tenancy agreement with renters.


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Succession rights

Types of tenancies

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Taking over a tenancy

Council housing: Types of tenancy

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