Change of tenancy FAQ's
Creating a new joint tenancy
If you are thinking about asking us if you can have a joint tenancy with someone else, you should read this factsheet.
Q. What is a joint tenancy?
A joint tenancy is where the tenancy is granted by us to more than one person. Each tenant has full legal rights and responsibilities. For example, each tenant is responsible for all the rent and for any breach of the tenancy caused by any other joint tenant.
Q. Can I just add someone’s name to my sole tenancy?
No. To create a new joint tenancy you first need to give up your existing sole tenancy and a new tenancy will be granted in the names of all joint tenants.
Q. If I am a currently a sole tenant, what should I think about before asking you for a new joint tenancy?
We think you should give it careful consideration before making a request to create a new joint tenancy. Think about whether it is right for you. We suggest you get some advice. Here are some of the you should consider:-
• Before we create a new joint tenancy, we will need to officially end your existing tenancy. You don’t have to move out, it’s simply an administrative process that allows us to create the new joint tenancy.
• As joint tenants, you will both be responsible for paying the rent and looking after the tenancy. That means that even if the new joint tenant doesn’t help towards the rent or breaches other tenancy conditions, we will hold both of you responsible.
• Either joint tenant can end the tenancy by giving us four week’s written notice. If we receive such notice we do not have to let the other joint tenant stay in the home. Our decision will be based on the circumstances at the time, but any other joint tenant at the property could be asked to leave.
• Housing Benefit or Universal Credit could be affected so you should check first.
Q. Do I have a right to a new joint tenancy?
No. We do not have to legally agree to a request for a joint tenancy.
Q. Can anyone apply to become a joint tenant?
No. We will only allow requests for a new joint tenancy at our discretion but we will be able to advise you on this.
Q. How will ForHousing decide whether to approve a joint tenancy request?
Our decision will depend on your circumstances. We will check your tenancy and check the circumstances of the proposed new joint tenant. We will not turn down your request without good reason. Some of the reasons why we may refuse a request will include:
• You are in arrears or have other outstanding debts to ForHousing;
• You are in breach of your existing tenancy conditions;
• The proposed new joint tenant is not aged over 18;
• The person you want to create a new joint tenancy with does not qualify for housing under our allocations policy for example due to previous debts or a history of antisocial behaviour; and
• The proposed new joint tenant does not meet the required immigration status to hold a tenancy.
If we turn down your request, we will provide you with our reasons.
Removing a joint tenant
Q. My relationship has broken down / a joint tenant has moved out, what should I do?
If you have a joint tenancy with ForHousing and want to change this to a sole tenancy, this is more straightforward when both tenants agree to this change and there are no rent arrears. In all cases, ForHousing will need to assess your application before giving you a decision.
Q. Who decides who keeps the tenancy if we can’t agree?
If you can’t agree who should have the tenancy, we recommend you seek independent legal advice before asking ForHousing for approval to make the change.
If you need further information, contact us on 0300 123 5522 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
We are committed to providing equal access to information. If you would like this information in another format, please phone us on 0300 123 5522