Death of a tenant

Losing a person close to you is difficult enough as it is, worrying about what happens to the home afterwards will undoubtedly play a part in that.

Hopefully, the information here will go some way in helping you at this difficult time.

It’s important that you let us know about the passing of a contract-holder (tenant) as soon as possible. Please give us a call and ask to speak to the ‘bereavement team’, who will be able to help.

If the contract holder lived alone, and you simply wish to discuss returning the keys etc, please give us a call.

Often however, when a contract-holder (tenant) passes away, other family members will still be living at the home. In this instance, a family member may be entitled to ‘succession’.

Succession is the process of taking over a contract, after the original contract holder passes away.

  • Who has the right to succeed?

    In order to succeed a contract, you must have been living at the property with the contract holder when they passed away. How long you need to have lived there will depend on your relationship with them.

    Husband, wife, civil partner

    If you are the husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased, you must have been living at the property at the time of death.
    We would need proof of this, such as a utility bill with your name and address, dated on or around the date of death.

    If you were not married, but were living together as partners, we would treat you as if you were married for the purposes of succession.

    Other family members

    If you are not the husband, wife or partner, you could still succeed the contract, providing that you lived there with the contract holder for 12 months, before they passed. Family members which would be included are:

    • parent
    • grandparent
    • child (including stepchildren and adopted children)
    • grandchild
    • brother
    • uncle
    • aunty
    • nephew
    • niece

    We would need to see proof that you have lived there for 12 months continuously, such as utility bills with your name and address on, from periods over 12 months.


    A carer could also qualify to succeed the contract if they provided substantial amount of care to the deceased on a regular basis.
    They must also have lived with the contract-holder for a period of 12 months, leading up to the date of death.

    We would need to see proof that you have lived there for 12 months continuously, such as utility bills with your name and address on, from periods over 12 months.

  • I’m a joint-contract holder. Can I succeed the contract?

    Joint-contract holders do not need to succeed the contract. If one contract holder dies, the remaining contract holders continue to be contract holders.

    You do not need to apply for succession, and your contract is secure. But you do need to let us know of their passing however.

  • Can more than one person succeed?

    No, only one person can succeed a contract. If more than one person is eligible, the family/persons eligible should decide amongst themselves, before applying to Adra.

    If the family/ eligible people cannot come to a decision, all those who wish to succeed should apply and we will decide who to give it to.

  • How do I make an application?

    If the contract holder has passed away, it’s important that you let us know as soon as possible.

    If anyone was living with the contract holder, who was not themselves a contract-holder, an application for succession should be made in writing.

    An application can be made by completing this form and returning it to us.

  • I have the right to succession. Does this mean I can stay living where I am?

    Usually, yes.
    However, sometimes a home may be unsuitable for the remaining occupant(s).

    It may be too big or have substantial adaptations which the remaining occupants don’t need.
    In these circumstances, we will work with them to find more suitable accommodation.

  • What if I don’t have the right to succeed? Will I be kicked out?

    There will be times when the people remaining in a property do not have the right to succeed the contract. This can be for a number of reasons, including:

    They have not lived there for the necessary period of time

    They are not related to the contract-holder.

    The contract-holder themselves already succeeded the contract.

    In these circumstances, succession is not an option.

    However, we will still work with you to see whether we can give you a new contract. When considering this, we will take into consideration:

    • The suitability of the property, including it’s size, adaptations, type.
    • The local housing need in the area.
    • The length of time lived at the property.
    • Ties to the area and/or property, such as schools, work.
    • The availability of alternative accommodation.

    If we decide that we cannot grant you a new contract, then we will work with the local authority’s homeless team, and housing options team to try and secure you more suitable, alternative accommodation.