Tenancy agreement changes and transfers
When a housing association or the Housing Executive allocates you accommodation, they'll ask you to sign a tenancy agreement before you move in. The agreement explains what the landlord and tenant agree to do while the tenancy exists.
The tenancy agreement is a legally binding agreement which sets out the social landlord's obligations to carry out repairs in the tenant's home.
It should also outline the tenant's obligations to the landlord, such as the need to pay rent, and not to cause nuisance, harassment, or damage.
The agreement may include other conditions about the tenancy, such as rules about keeping pets.
Breaking the tenancy agreement
If a tenant breaks the conditions of their agreement, the landlord may take action against them. The landlord can apply to the court for a possession order of the property.
If a court grants a possession order, the landlord can evict the tenant from the property.
You may want to share the responsibilities of your tenancy with someone who lives with you and ask for a joint tenancy. If your landlord approves your joint tenancy request, all tenants should sign the tenancy agreement.
You're already a tenant
If you're a Housing Executive or housing association tenant and want a joint tenancy, you need to apply to your landlord to change the tenancy.
They'll consider your application and let you know if they agree to grant a joint tenancy. All joint tenants will need to sign a new tenancy agreement if the landlord agrees to the joint tenancy.
You already have a joint tenancy
If you have a joint tenancy with another person but only one of you wants to be the tenant, you need to ask the landlord to change the tenancy. This can happen when a relationship ends and one partner agrees to leave the family home.
Joint tenants need to write to the landlord confirming they both agree to the change in tenancy. If the landlord agrees to the change in tenancy, a new tenancy agreement will need to be signed.
Death of a joint tenant
When a tenant has a joint tenancy with their spouse or civil partner, they become the sole tenant if their spouse or civil partner dies.
Ending a joint tenancy
When a joint tenant terminates the tenancy, this ends the tenancy. The landlord is not legally obliged to grant a tenancy to the remaining tenant.
The remaining tenant is not entitled to a tenancy of the property. However, sometimes the landlord may decide to allow the remaining tenant take on a new tenancy and stay in the property.
Tenant identification checks
The Housing Executive will do identity checks if you're signing up for a new tenancy or transferring or exchanging properties.
When you are signing up for your new tenancy, you must sign a consent form allowing the Housing Executive to take and store your photograph of you. For a joint tenancy, they will need each tenant's photograph.
Transferring your tenancy
If you want to transfer your tenancy to someone, you must apply in writing to your landlord. This is a tenancy assignment. You don't have a right to this type of assignment. Your landlord might approve an assignment in exceptional circumstances. They'll give your a written decision.
Taking over a tenancy
You may ask to take over the tenancy if you lived with the tenant in the property as your principal home for at least 12 months on the date of their death. You also need to be the deceased tenant's
- civil partner
- family member
This is called a 'succession'.
If the deceased tenant had already succeeded to the tenancy, there is no right to a second succession. However, your landlord may grant another succession in certain cases.
If you don't have a legal right to a succession, the landlord may still grant a new tenancy to you. This is known as a 'policy succession'. Your landlord will be able to give you more information and advice.