Sole & Joint Tenancies

  • A sole tenancy is where only one person is named on the tenancy agreement
  • A joint tenancy is where two people are named on the tenancy agreement

Joint tenancies are usually given to couples who live together. Being part of a joint tenancy means that both residents are responsible for sticking to the agreement. If one resident decided to leave, the other resident would need to pay all of the rent.

In some cases, joint tenancies are given to people who aren’t a recognised couple, like a mother and daughter. In this situation any benefit claims must be made separately for their share of the rent.


How do I change from a sole to joint tenancy?

If you have a sole tenancy and you want to add another adult, you will need to send us their details in writing. You’ll need to include proof that they have been living at your address for at least one year and that it has been their main home.  We won’t be able to make this change if:

  • You’ve missed rent payments
  • You’ve broken the rules of your tenancy agreement
  • The property isn’t big enough
  • The person you want to add to your tenancy already owns their own home or has another tenancy
  • They owe money to us or another social landlord or have been evicted in the past

The type of tenancy you have may also affect whether you can add someone.

Assured tenants – this type of tenancy can be varied. To change it from sole to joint, both people involved must sign a written agreement.

Assured protected – this type of tenancy cannot be changed directly into a joint tenancy except in very few cases. The sole tenancy has to be ended by a ‘formal notice to quit’, and a new tenancy will be given. The new tenancy will be assured.


How can you change from a joint to sole tenancy

If joint tenants decide they don’t want to live together, they need to agree who stays in the property and becomes the sole tenant.  If you can’t agree, you’ll need to apply to court for a decision to be made.

Rosebery will only change a joint tenancy to a sole tenancy if:

  • Both residents have agreed to the change
  • The person leaving their home tells us in writing that they are giving up the tenancy.  They’ll need to get legal advice to help them with this and send a formal ‘notice to quit’.
  • There is a court order

The type of tenancy you have can affect how you how you change from a joint to sole tenancy.

Assured tenants – if you’re a joint assured resident, you can give up your tenancy by filling in a ‘deed of release’. If you don’t give us notice to end your tenancy, you’ll still be responsible for looking after your home and paying the rent.

Assured protected – this type of tenancy can only be transferred to someone who would inherit the tenancy if the resident died. You’ll find some more information about succession later in this section. If the resident isn’t entitled to inherit the tenancy, they can send a ‘notice to quit’. This would end the existing tenancy and the remaining resident may be offered a new tenancy which would be assured. The only exception to this is where a tenancy is assigned by a court. In this case, a new tenancy would not be given and the existing agreement would continue.


Ending joint tenancies

If you have a joint tenancy, only one resident needs to give us notice to end the agreement.