Your rights

While you have obligations as a secure tenant, you also have rights. These are mainly legal rights explained in the booklet "Your Rights as a Council Tenant - the Council Tenant's Charter."

Taking possession

We can only take back or gain possession of your home with a court order. The most common reasons for seeking such an order are:

  • rent arrears
  • annoyance, nuisance or harassment to neighbours
  • use of property for illegal or immoral purposes, such as drug dealing, prostitution and the storage of stolen goods
  • damage to council property

In these cases, we don't have to give you alternative accommodation.

Other reasons we can seek possession include:

  • overcrowding
  • we need to carry out major building works
  • your home has been designed or adapted for the elderly or disabled and you don't need these facilities
  • the tenancy has been taken over after the death of the original tenant and the home is larger than you need

It's unlikely that we'll seek possession of your home for these reasons, but if we do, we must offer you suitable alternative accommodation.

County court orders - marital breakdown

The county court may decide that your tenancy is given to your husband or wife following marriage breakdown as part of matrimonial proceedings.

Inheriting your tenancy

It may be possible for family members to take over your tenancy when you die. This is called a succession. A husband, wife, or person living with the tenant as a partner at the time of death can succeed to a tenancy. Legally, only one succession may be granted during a tenancy. But in certain circumstances a new tenancy may be given when a succession has previously taken place. This tenancy may be of another property.

Please complete the succession application form to request the transfer of a secure tenancy via succession if the current tenant has died.

Succession can only be granted under restricted circumstances.

If you require more information about succession or need assistance completing the form, please contact your housing officer.

Succession application form


If you don't want to live in your home anymore, you may be able to give your tenancy to another family member who could have succeeded to your tenancy. This is called an assignment. You may also assign your tenancy to another council tenant or sometimes a housing association tenant by doing an exchange, or swap, with them. You must get our written permission, and that of any other landlord involved, before you assign your tenancy to anyone else.


You have a right to take in lodgers, unless this would result in overcrowding, but you must tell us when anyone moves into or leaves your home. If you receive housing benefit, you must also tell the council's benefit services section.


You may sub-let part of your home if you ask the council's permission, but you can't sub-let all of your home. The difference between taking in a lodger and sub-letting part of your home is that a lodger shares your house and pays you for their meals and upkeep. A sub-tenant will have their own part of your home and will normally do their own cooking and cleaning. If you're thinking of taking in a lodger, or sub-letting, contact your local housing office.