The legal process for passing your tenancy on when you die is called succession and is governed by strict legal rules.
A secure council tenancy can only be passed on once, unless your tenancy agreement allows for more than one succession.
If you have a joint tenancy, the other joint tenant will automatically take over the tenancy when you die.
If you are the only tenant, your tenancy can be passed on to your spouse or civil partner, as long as s/he has been living in your home at the time of your death. If you are not married or registered as a civil partner, your partner or another member of your family will succeed to the tenancy instead, providing s/he has been living with you for at least one year.
If another household member does not qualify to succeed to your tenancy under these rules, the council may still consider granting a new tenancy of the property to them when you die, especially if:
- they have lived with you for the last year;
- they have been looking after you; or
- they have accepted responsibility for your dependents.
Unlike succession (which is a legal right), it will be up to the council to decide whether it is possible to grant a new tenancy in these circumstances.
These rules only apply to Wales. For the rules about succeeding to a tenancy in England see the Shelter website.