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Passing a tenancy to someone else

This advice applies to Scotland

You want to pass the tenancy on to someone else

Passing on a tenancy to someone else is called assignment. The rules about who can and who can't assign tenancies are very complex. You will need legal advice from a solicitor

What happens when you die

When a tenant dies there are rules which may allow the tenancy to be passed on to your partner, or sometimes a relative or carer. This is called succession.

The rules are different for different kinds of tenancy. Because they are given by law, what a landlord says or puts into an agreement cannot change a right to succession.

For example, Jamie's partner John has just died. They lived together in a one-bedroom council flat for the last 25 years but it was always just in John's name and they never entered into a civil partnership or marriage. Jamie is afraid he'll be evicted.

Jamie has the the right to stay in the flat. This is called the right of succession. The law says that partners in same-sex or opposite-sex couples count as a member of the family of the person who died. This means Jamie will probably have the right of succession as long as:

  • he was living at his partner's property when John died, and
  • the property was Jamie's only or main home, and
  • they were living together for at least twelve months before he died.

To find out how the rules apply in a particular case you should consult an experienced adviser at your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

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