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Assigning a tenancy

Assignment is the legal term used when a tenant passes on their secure tenancy to another eligible person or "assignee". You can only assign your tenancy with the approval of Islington Council.

What is tenancy assignment?

You must get our approval and comply with a number of rules before we agree to an assignment. The rules are laid down in law and council policy.

  • You must be the original tenant. If you took over your tenancy because the previous tenant died or if the previous tenant gave their tenancy to you it is likely you will not be able to pass on the tenancy again.
  • The person (called “the assignee”) you wish to pass your tenancy to must be eligible. An assignee is eligible if they would be able to inherit your tenancy if you died. This is the joint tenant, your husband/wife or civil partner, your partner (including same sex partner) or certain other members of your family.   Family members that are considered eligible are:
    • Parent
    • Grandparent
    • Child
    • Grandchild
    • Brother
    • Sister
    • Uncle
    • Aunt
    • Nephew
    • Niece
    • Half brother
    • Half sister
    • Foster child
    • Both you and the assignee must be living at your tenancy address and it must be your only or main home. Unless the assignee is a joint tenant, your husband/wife or civil partner they must be able to prove they have been living with you at your home for at least the past 12 months.
    • You can only pass your tenancy to one person.

Applying to assign your tenancy

You will need to supply the following documents to us:

  • Completed Application to Assign a Tenancy form and Form of Authority/Consent.
  • Proof of your and the assignee’s identity (e.g. birth certificate, current passport etc.)
  • Proof of the assignee’s relationship with you (e.g. birth and/or marriage certificates proving they are your partner or mother or niece etc.)
  • Proof that you and the assignee live in your home now.
  • Unless the assignee is the joint tenant, your husband/wife or civil partner then they have to show they have been living with you for 12 months by providing at least five separate and different items of official paperwork (e.g. benefit paperwork, bank statements, utility bills etc.)

If we approve your assignment, we will write to you and the assignee asking you both to attend an appointment to formally pass the tenancy from you to the assignee. The date your tenancy is passed to the assignee will normally be the Monday following this appointment and the assignee will become liable for the rent and all other tenancy conditions from this date.

Reasons we may not approve your tenancy assignment

There are a number of reasons why we may not allow you to pass your tenancy to another person:

  • You received your tenancy when the previous tenant died or if they passed it on to you.
  • If you have a court order against you then you may have lost the right to pass on your tenancy to someone else, in addition to other tenancy rights.
  • If you have caused anti-social behaviour or harassment we might be in a position to refuse your request.
  • If you are currently in the process of buying your home or moving to another Islington Council property or if you have been nominated by Islington to another landlord for housing or if you are in the process of doing a mutual exchange with another tenant.

I have rent arrears – can I still apply to assign my tenancy?

We will ask you to clear your rent account.  If you are not able to clear your arrears we will only allow you to pass on your tenancy if you make an agreement, acceptable to Islington Council, to clear your debt by instalments.  Alternatively, the assignee can agree to take responsibility for the arrears. 

What happens if I leave someone in my home and I move out?

If you leave your home and have no intention to return, the security of your tenancy is lost. If you give your keys to someone else, even if that person may have been entitled to take on the tenancy, Islington Council will consider them to be an unauthorised occupier and will take legal action to evict the person and take back possession of the property.  While the person remains in the property until we receive the keys we will charge them for its use and occupation and if we have to take them to court they will be liable to pay our costs.

How can I apply to assign my tenancy?

To apply to Islington Council to consider your tenancy assignment, you should speak to your Tenancy Management Advisor by contacting your area housing office.

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