Can someone live with me in my council house?

Can someone live with me in my council house

This page was last updated on 1 May 2022

Can someone live with me in my council house In 2022?

The restrictions imposed on someone who resides with you in your council house are generally determined by the terms of your tenancy agreement. Because each council tenant has a distinct contract, there are varying rights and obligations that may apply to you.

You might be considering allowing another individual to live in your council house for a variety of reasons.

You may, for example, want someone else to pay part of the rent so that you can improve your financial situation, or you could want to start living with your family in a single household or as a couple. It’s crucial to evaluate whether this is.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

You can listen to an audio recording of this page below.

 

Can another person move in with me in my council house if I am on benefits?

If you are on benefits such as Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and you want to start living with another tenant, who will also make a financial contribution and pay rent, you will have to tell the local council that your circumstances have changed. This might result in a deduction in your benefits each month as there is more than one person living with you.

If the person you want to start sharing a home with is a spouse or civil partner, you will be reassessed as a couple. This might affect your housing benefits or council tax benefit.

Similarly, if the person moving in with you is over 18, they will be classified as a ‘non-dependant’ and your entitlement will change accordingly.

You will receive a deduction for each adult living with you in your property, even if they are a part of your household or family and do not pay rent. This is because the local council expects that any non-dependant will be responsible for making a financial contribution to the property by paying a share of the rent or tax.

Can another person move in with me if I am not on benefits?

If you are planning to have someone move in with you in your home, it is important to ask for your landlord’s permission first. If you do not ask for permission from your landlord first, this might be considered a breach of your tenancy agreement.

Most tenancy agreements stipulate that you cannot sublet the entire property, however, you may be able to speak to your landlord about your situation. If they give you permission, you can then draw up a new tenancy agreement.

Do I have to include the person moving in with me to my council tenancy?

If the person living with you in your home is not paying rent, they do not need to be added to the council tenancy. However, this would mean that they would not have any legal rights to the property, and their position will be less secure as they will not be mentioned in the tenancy agreement.

To avoid legal troubles, it would still be wise to inform your landlord to ensure that you are not breaching your tenancy agreement.

Types of tenancy

There are several distinct types of tenancies available to renters. 

The type of tenancy agreement you have will determine whether or not you can live with someone in your council house. Each council tenant is assigned his own tenancy, eg a secure or flexible tenant, which sets its own set of regulations and guidelines.

Before you agree to let someone move into your home, you are responsible for checking which of these rules apply to you under your tenancy agreement.

Your rights and responsibilities vary according to the type of tenancy you have. The most common types of tenancies are introductory tenancy, secure tenancy, flexible tenancy and joint tenancy.

If you need help or advice in deciding whether or not to take in an additional tenant in your home, you must first research the type of tenancy you have to see if it is possible in the first place.

Introductory tenancy

New council tenants are usually offered this type of tenancy, typically for a period of 12 months. After 12 months, the introductory tenancy gets converted into a secure or flexible tenancy.

Unlike secure, flexible and joint tenants, introductory tenants cannot take on additional tenants or sub-let their home.

Secure tenancy

In a secure tenancy, the tenant is allowed to live in the property for their entire lifetime, as long as they do not go against the rules of the tenancy. A secure tenancy also allows tenants to buy their property through the Rent to Buy scheme.

In secure tenancies, you are ordinarily also allowed to rent out rooms in your property to lodgers. The council would normally only refuse for specific reasons, for example, if having an additional tenant would result in overcrowding.

If the person you want to start sharing a home with is a spouse or civil partner, you will be reassessed as a couple. This might affect your housing benefit or council tax benefit.

In this type of tenancy, as a secure tenant, you can also swap properties with another housing association or council tenant as well as make improvements to your property, with the council’s permission.

Subletting your entire home is a criminal offence if you live in council housing.

Flexible tenancy

A flexible tenancy is for a specified amount of time, usually, at least 5 years but can also be shorter. After this period is over, the council can offer the tenant another fixed term tenancy, convert it to a secure tenancy or decide not to renew the tenancy at all.

If you have a flexible tenancy and are therefore a flexible tenant, you are allowed to rent out rooms in your home to someone else, if you are paying rent yourself. However, you cannot sublet the entire property.

Joint tenancy

In a joint tenancy, joint tenants share equal responsibility and all tenants must sign a tenancy agreement with the landlord when they move in.

In joint tenancies, usually, you will have to be living together for at least 12 months before you apply to be a joint tenant with someone.

One joint tenant can be added to the property at any time.

You can ask your landlord to add someone as a joint tenancy if

  • they are your spouse or civil partner, or
  • they’ve been living with you for at least 12 months,
  • they inherit the tenancy when you die
  • they lived with you when you first moved into your house.

 

Your landlord might ask for proof that someone has been living with you. Things like gas or electric bills, bank statements or official letters will help prove this.

Rights of joint tenants

Joint tenants have equal rights. You are all responsible for

  • paying the rent on time
  • looking after the property and its condition, including agreeing on any major improvements or addition to the house
  • each other’s behaviour.

Removing someone from a joint tenancy

In a situation where two or more people want to live in the same property as joint tenants, they will have identical rights. If you don’t want to live with the other joint tenant, this can cause issues. Your landlord will not choose who gets the tenancy if you both wish to remain sole tenants in the home.

Ultimately, if you cannot agree, you may need to take court action and have the courts decide what to do.

Adding someone to your social tenancy

You can add someone else to your tenancy. But,

  • your landlord has to agree to do this
  • your landlord can say ‘No’

Can I transfer my tenancy to another person?

Secure or flexible tenants may be able to transfer their tenancy to someone else.

A ‘request to assign tenancy form’ must be completed before you can transfer your tenancy. This form can be found online, through your council’s housing department.

We recommend seeking proper advice before making such decisions.

Transferring a tenancy when someone dies

Below we have set out things to consider if your partner dies or tenant dies.

A demoted tenancy

If you lived with the person who died for at least a year as their, husband, wife, or civil partner and took over a demoted tenancy, you should be able to keep it. You might still be able to take over the lease if you weren’t in a relationship with the victim. You’ll need to have resided in the property as

If a tenancy is demoted, it will usually be for one year. After this time period has elapsed, the type of accommodation it was prior to reverting unless your landlord decides to remove you If you assume over a demoted tenancy, it will remain demoted until the 12 months are up. For example, if the lease has been reduced for.

If the fixed term ended and the tenancy continued

If the person who died had a fixed-term tenancy and did not sign a new agreement, they were most likely in possession of a periodic tenancy.

You can generally inherit the tenancy and stay in the property if you were the main home of your deceased relative and you were living with them as their husband, wife, or civil partner for at least a year before their death.

If the tenancy was demoted, you should be able to assume it back to its original status. But if the tenancy started as a non-secure, this will continue even after 12 months have elapsed.

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Article author

James Lloyd

I am the primary writer and author for Help and Advice, having originally helped start the site because I recognised that there was a need for easy to read, free and comprehensive information on the web. I have been able to use my background in finance to produce a number of articles for the site, as well as develop the financial fitness assessment tool. This is a tool that provides you with practical advice on improving your personal financial health.

Outside of work I am a keen rugby player and used to play up to a semi-professional level before the years of injury finally took their toll.  Now you are more likely to see me in the clubhouse enjoying the game.

Email – james@helpandadvice.co.uk

Linked in – Connect with me 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can another person move in with me if I am not on benefits?

If you are planning to have someone move in with you in your home, it is important to ask for your landlord’s permission first. If you do not ask for permission from your landlord first, this might be considered a breach in your tenancy agreement.

Can another person move in with me in my council house if I am on benefits?

If you are on benefits such as Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and you want to start living with another tenant, who will also make a financial contribution and pay rent, you will have to tell the council that your circumstances have changed. This might result in a deduction in your benefits each month.

Do I have to include the person moving in with me to my council tenancy?

If the person living with you in your home is not paying rent, they do not need to be added to the council tenancy. However, this would mean that they would not have any legal rights to the property, and their position will be less secure as they will not be mentioned in the tenancy agreement.

Can I transfer my tenancy to another person?

Secure or flexible tenants may be able to transfer their tenancy to someone else.

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