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Housing problem and change of tenancy

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Can anyone help, basically me and my mother have lived in the same Council accommodation for many years, my father's name was on the tenancy agreement but he left over 25 years ago. My mother told the Council he had left at the time, but somehow his name was never taken off the agreement and it has been left that way since.


We have now been told that the Council could technically throw us out as my father's name is still on the agreement and we need to get it changed, which means getting a solicitor and it going through the courts.


As this is a Council flat is this correct?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your mother would have a natural claim to the tenancy as your father's wife and/or partner. If you go on your council's website which can be found following links http://local.direct.gov.uk/LDGRedirect/index.jsp?LGSL=711&LGIL=0 you can request a change of name although they might wonder why your mother failed to change the name during the past twenty-five years, it doesn't stop her right to have the tenancy changed to her name as long as the property remains suitable to her needs (as shown in the quoted section below common to council tenancies).


Does she have utility bills such as water, council tax, gas, electric, telephone in her name? If she has any or all of these, then supplying the council with some of these from the past twenty-five years as evidence will go a long way to prove she was living at the property during the period your father was not and establish her right to have her name put on the tenancy.




Taking over a Tenancy


If you live in a council home, but are not the official tenant or joint tenant (because your name isn't on the tenancy agreement) you can apply to take over the tenancy in certain circumstances.

In some situations you have the legal right to take over the tenancy: in other cases the council has the right to either agree or refuse your application - depending on your circumstances and whether there is a demand for the property.


Someone who is still alive


If you wish to take over a tenancy of a person who is still alive you need to contact your local Housing Office and discuss the circumstances with a housing officer. All situations are dealt with on an individual basis.

Someone who has died


The law says that if a council tenant dies, the tenancy of their home can pass to their husband or wife, (or to the person who had been living with them as husband or wife). Or it can pass to a relative (parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece) if they had been living with the tenant for the previous twelve months. This is called a Succession.

Council policy extends these rights to someone who had been living with the tenant as part of a ? or gay couple.


If the tenancy passes to a relative, and the home is bigger than they need, we have the legal right to move them out to a suitable alternative home. But we would not move out a husband, wife, or partner in the same situation.


If someone has already taken over the tenancy following the death of a previous tenant, the tenancy does not have to go to someone else if they die. You only have one legal right to Succession.

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Thanks for your reply, yes she has utility bills and other letters etc, however she has now been told she has to apply for a court order and attend court. This is really worrying for her. She isn't great with travelling and would find this really stressful. It seems such a lot of hassle being that she has lived in the property for such a long time and has always paid rent on time.

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