Types of tenancy

Find out what kind of tenancy you have on your tenancy agreement.

Joint tenancies

Joint tenancies are usually created when two people apply for housing together.

They can also be granted to existing tenants who want to share their tenancy with their spouse, civil, or cohabiting partner.

Joint tenants have the same rights and responsibilities even if they no longer live at the property. For example, each joint tenant is responsible for making sure the whole of the rent is paid, and not just their share of it. If a court order was sought for unpaid rent, it would be against all the joint tenants.

Similarly, if one joint tenant breaks the tenancy agreement and the problem can’t be solved, the other joint tenant may need to go to court to deal with the matter.

Either joint tenant can apply for Housing Benefit or Council Tax support.

When joint tenancies won’t be granted

We won't grant a joint tenancy if:

  • the current tenant is in breach of their tenancy conditions, including unpaid rent on their account, and has been served with a Notice Seeking Possession or a Notice to Quit, or other enforcement action is being taken
  • the current tenant succeeded or has been assigned a tenancy from someone else
  • the proposed new tenant has not lived at their current property continuously for a minimum of 12 months immediately prior to the application.

If a joint tenant dies

If a joint tenant dies, you must tell us.

The tenancy will continue with the remaining tenant — this is known as ‘survivorship’. The remaining tenant will be responsible for all of the rent and other charges.

If your relationship breaks down

If your relationship breaks down, you can't force the other tenant to leave as they still have the right to live in the family home.

This is known as occupancy rights. In these cases, the only way one of the tenants can be made to leave is by a court order.

Ending a joint tenancy

We will not allow one tenant to exclude the other without a court order.

However, by serving a Notice to Quit, one joint tenant can terminate the whole tenancy without the consent of the other.

We will not transfer a tenancy from joint names to a sole name unless:

  • both parties agree
  • there is a court order (Property Transfer Order)
  • the case involves domestic violence.

If joint tenants wish to end their tenancy, we are not obligated to provide separate rehousing for either party.