Your council tenancy

Joint and sole tenancies

You are a sole tenant if only one tenant is named on the tenancy agreement. If two people are named on the agreement you have a joint tenancy.  

Joint tenants 

Joint tenants each have all the rights and responsibilities set out in the tenancy terms and conditions. 

A joint tenancy means that two people are responsible for making sure the tenancy conditions are met and have equal rights to stay in the tenancy until it is ended. 

If one joint tenant formally ends the tenancy, the tenancy comes to an end even if the other joint tenant has not asked to end the tenancy. 

Adding another person as a joint tenant 

We will consider offering a joint tenancy only to a husband, wife, civil partner or partner. We don't offer joint tenancies to other persons who may be living with you. 

The person you wish to have the joint tenancy with will need to have lived with you for at least two years. You will need to write to us to tell us that they are living permanently at your address. The two years will begin when you tell us in writing that this person is living permanently at your address. 

In deciding whether or not to give you a new joint tenancy we will look at a number of factors including: 

  • Whether you have succeeded to (inherited) your tenancy 
  • All your rent and charges have been paid. 

You can get more information from your housing compliance officer. If we refuse to give you a new joint tenancy, we will tell you the reason. 

Joint tenants have equal rights to stay in the property until the tenancy has ended. We therefore advise that you obtain legal advice before asking for a joint tenancy.

Frequently asked questions about joint tenancies 

I have a joint tenancy and the other tenant has left – can I have a sole tenancy? 

Just because one of the joint tenants has gone away or does not live at your home anymore it does not mean that their tenancy has ended. A tenancy agreement continues until it is legally ended by the tenant(s) or by us. 

Both tenants will remain 'jointly and severally liable' for the tenancy. This means that the tenant who has left the home will still be responsible for any rent charges after they have left.

You should contact your housing compliance officer to discuss your situation and find out if you can get a new sole tenancy. 

What happens if I have a joint tenancy and my relationship has ended? 

If you have a joint tenancy and your relationship breaks down, we cannot decide who stays in the property. You will need to agree between yourselves or you can ask a court to decide. 

You will need to tell us what is happening. 

If you are getting divorced you can apply to the court to transfer the tenancy to one of the joint tenants. We advise you get legal advice.