What changes can I make to my tenancy?
You can hand over your tenancy to someone else in your household. This is called 'assignation'. You may want to do this if you want to move out or would rather someone else was responsible for the tenancy. The person taking over the tenancy must have been living with you for at least 6 months. You will hand over all your rights and responsibilities to the other person.
You need to fill in an Assignation application form (PDF, 281kb).
The tenancy will not be handed over until we have given permission, and the new tenant has signed an assignee consent form. If you hand over your tenancy, you do not have to move out, you will however no longer have the same rights you did as a tenant. If you assign your home to someone else, they have the right to hand it on again.
Add a joint tenant
You can ask for someone to become a joint tenant with you. When someone is included as a joint tenant under the existing tenancy you do not need to sign a new tenancy agreement. We can refuse if you have broken any of your tenancy conditions and in certain other situations where it is reasonable to refuse.
You must complete a Joint tenancy application form (PDF, 282kb).
The tenancy will not be made a joint tenancy until you and the new joint tenant sign the joint tenant(s) consent form.
Remove a joint tenant
A joint tenant can give up their part of the tenancy without the other tenant losing their right to the tenancy. They must let us and the other joint tenant or tenants know, in writing, 4 weeks before they give it up. At the same time, they must also tell any other members of the household, who are over 16. They continue to share the responsibilities for the tenancy until the end of the 4 weeks. The remaining tenant or tenants do not need to sign a new tenancy agreement.
If a joint tenant has left without informing us, or providing a new contact address, we will serve a Section 20 notice. This notice will allow us to remove them from the tenancy agreement if no contact is made. This can take up to 2 months.
What is a joint tenancy?
A joint tenancy is when 2 or more adults are named in the tenancy agreement and each tenant is jointly and individually responsible for the tenancy. This means that each tenant is responsible for the full rent being paid (not just half), and if one tenant breaks the agreement, we can hold the other responsible.
Each tenant has equal rights and can apply for Housing Benefit. If one tenant dies, the tenancy usually transfers to the other joint tenant. This is called succeeding to a tenancy. You can ask for someone living with you to become a joint tenant with you. We will not refuse without good reason.
If a joint tenant decides to end their tenancy, the other tenant has the right to stay in the home.
What if I change my name?
If you change your surname, you don't need to change your agreement but you must let us know. Complete a Change of Name Notification Form (PDF, 272kb). We'll amend your tenancy agreement.
I want to make a change to my tenancy
To assign your tenancy, to add on a joint tenant or to notify us about a change of name you need to fill in the appropriate form which can be downloaded or requested from one of our housing offices.
For a joint tenant to give up their part of the tenancy they need to send us a letter.
What happens next?
We will check the details you have given us and your record as a tenant. We will write back within 20 working days to tell you whether we have given permission or not. If we do not reply within 20 working days you have the right to go ahead as if we have given permission.
What will happen if my request is approved?
If we agree to the change, we will write to you and any joint tenants or other members of the household who are over 16. We will arrange for the appropriate paperwork to be signed.
What happens if my request is turned down?
If we do not give permission, we will tell you why. We will not give permission if:
- you have not given us the information we asked for
- any extra people coming into the household would overcrowd your home
- you have already received a 'notice of recovery of possession' warning you that you may have to leave your home, or we have already got a court order for 'recovery of possession'
- we have plans to carry out work to your home or building
We can also refuse permission in certain other situations where it is reasonable to refuse. If we do not give permission and you are not happy with the decision, you can ask a senior officer to review the matter. In some cases you may be able to appeal to the Sheriff Court.
Can I take over the tenancy if my partner, who is the tenant, has left the home?
Yes, if your partner agrees to sign the tenancy over to you. If you can't contact your partner to get their agreement, there may be other legal options open to you. We can give help and advice.
They are still responsible for their part of the tenancy until they have written to you and us saying that they want to give it up. If you cannot get in touch with them or they will not agree to give up their tenancy, we will need to take legal action to remove them from the tenancy. Or, you can apply to the court to have the joint tenant's name removed from the tenancy.