- 7.1. In all cases, there can only ever be one succession to a secure tenancy. In situations where the original tenancy was a joint tenancy and one of the original tenants has died, the surviving joint tenant will have taken over the tenancy by survivorship. This is counted as a succession in law.
- 7.2. The position on succession rights for tenants whose tenancies began before 1 April 2012 is that, where there is not a joint tenancy, another person may be able to take over the tenancy by succession if they are:
- the tenant's spouse or registered civil partner, as long as they were living together at the time of their death (or, if the tenancy is a demoted tenancy, for at least a year beforehand)
- another family member (this includes cohabiting partners, children, parents, siblings and most other close relatives, but not foster children) as long as there is no surviving spouse or civil partner and they were living with the deceased for a continuous period of at least one year before their death
- 7.3. In some cases a household will be allowed to stay in a property following the end of the tenancy (and there is no right of succession) or where a joint tenancy has been ended by one of the joint tenants but the other former joint tenant has been left in occupation. They are not tenancies and the occupiers have no rights of tenancy.
This allows Housing Options to consider the housing need of that household in accordance with the Council's Housing Allocation Scheme and subsequently support them with accommodation pending rehousing in an appropriate property as long as the normal conditions of a tenancy are maintained.
- 7.4. Where a succession takes place and the new tenant was not previously a joint tenant but is under-occupying the property, GYBC have an opportunity to offer another property to them as suitable alternative accommodation. If an offer of accommodation is made between 6 months and one year after the Council becomes aware of the death of the tenant and it is refused, Great Yarmouth Borough Council may take possession action to recover the property.
- 7.5. In deciding whether to offer suitable alternative accommodation we will take into account a number of factors, including:
- the level of under-occupation
- the length of residence in the property
- the individual need of the tenant, including health, support needs etc
- the demand for the type of property they are currently residing in
- the demand for the type of property they could potentially move to
- the location of available alternative accommodation
- 7.6. New tenants from 1 April 2012
For tenants whose tenancy began after 1 April 2012, succession rights are limited to the tenant's spouse or registered civil partner, as long as they were living together at the time of their death (or, if the tenancy is a demoted tenancy, for at least a year beforehand).
In exceptional circumstances the Council will consider applications from close family members who have lived in the property on a permanent basis as their family home for a continuous period of at least 12 months prior to the death of the tenant.