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Changing your tenancy

Applying for a joint tenancy

You can apply for a joint tenancy from the start or apply to change (or convert) an existing single (sole) tenancy to a joint tenancy.

If you are married or in a registered civil partnership you can add your partner to your sole tenancy at any time. If you are a cohabiting couple or family members, you must have lived together at the property for at least 12 months.

You need to apply to us for a joint tenancy. We may refuse your application for a joint tenancy if you or the other person:

  • have a poor record of paying council rent, or owe rent at another property.
  • have previously been evicted for antisocial behaviour.
  • own a property in the UK or abroad.

Please download and complete the pdf icon TEN 82 form [106kb] and hand it to your Local Housing Officer.


If you are a secure council tenant, you may be able to transfer your tenancy to your partner or other family member. Assignment is the legal transfer of a tenancy whilst the tenant is alive.

A sole tenant or joint tenants can request an assignment. People assign their tenancy to:

  • prevent disputes between potential successors.
  • allow a tenant to vacate their home but allow members of the family to remain.
  • resolve housing issues in a relationship breakdown.

If you live together, you may be able to transfer your tenancy to your husband or wife (spouse) or your registered civil partner. If you have been living together continuously for the last 12 months or more, you can transfer your tenancy to a partner you are not married to, or not in a civil partnership with, or a close family member (this includes a child, parent, brother or sister).

The person you assign your tenancy to will take over all your rights as a tenant of the property. You can remain in the property if agreed with the assignee. There are three ways to assign a tenancy:

  • Apply for a mutual exchange.
  • Court Order - when the court decides, if there is a dispute over children or in family law.
  • By deed to a potential successor i.e. child of tenant.

It is important to understand that by choosing an assignment, this then uses up the tenancy's one and only right to succession. There can be no further succession when an assignment has taken place. This means that when the person taking over the tenancy dies, the tenancy will not pass on to their survivors.  

If the resulting assignment results in under occupation, we may take action to transfer you to a smaller property.

If your tenancy started after 1st April 2012, you can only assign your tenancy to your spouse or civil partner.