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Can you stay in your home when a council tenant dies?

This advice is for people living in a council or housing association home.

You could stay in your home when the tenant dies if:

  • you're a joint tenant

  • you're the tenant's partner

  • you're a close relative who might have succession rights

  • the landlord agrees to give you a new tenancy in the same home

Check your rights and next steps

You can use our tool to:

  • find out if the tenancy can pass to you in the future

  • check your rights and options after a partner or close relative has died

1. How are you related to the tenant?

Close relatives are children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Step-relations, half-relations and in-laws also count.

What if you cannot take over the tenancy?

You do not have to leave straight away.

If nobody has succession rights, the landlord can end the tenancy.

The council or housing association must:

  • give you a legal notice to leave

  • apply to court if you do not leave

The landlord should be sympathetic. They should give you some time to find somewhere else to live. For example, they could help you apply to the housing register.

You can still live there if someone else inherits the tenancy and they say you can stay.

Ask for help from the council's homeless team if you're told to leave.

Last updated: 14 March 2024

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