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Changes to your tenancy agreement

There are various ways that you can make changes to a council tenancy. However, what you can do depends on the tenancy you hold. Some guidelines are given on this page but please contact us directly for advice on your personal situation. When making changes to your council tenancy, we always recommend that you seek independent legal advice.

Existing tenants can exchange homes and tenancies with another tenant of another council or social landlord, dependant on the type of tenancy each party holds. Permission from both landlords is required and a decision will be given within 42 days from full applications being received.  A property inspection will also be required.

It is illegal to offer money to another tenant to induce them to move.

Lewes District Council uses Exchange Locata and Eastbourne Borough Council uses Homeswapper to assist you to find a suitable exchange. Once any suitable exchange is found, please contact your council to progress.

If you are considering moving to a smaller property or are looking to move into sheltered accommodation from general needs accommodation, you may qualify for a financial incentive. Depending on your personal circumstances, you may qualify for assistance to help you with removal costs, clearance costs or debts owed to the council. Please contact your local council for details of any current incentive schemes available.

View our Right to Buy Scheme information for details on what both councils can offer. 

Your council tenancy does not automatically end when you move out of your home. This also applies when a tenant passes away. In order to end your tenancy, you or your executor must give the council at least 28 days written notice from the following Monday. We will acknowledge this and arrange to visit the property to carry out an inspection. By the agreed date, we must be given vacant possession by the keys being returned and the property cleared. Any repairs required that are the responsibility of the tenant, including items or rubbish left in the property, will be recharged to you. Please contact the council if you are considering ending your tenancy. Please be aware that, in cases of joint tenancy, we only require notice from one party on the tenancy to end the agreement.

If you breach the terms of your tenancy agreement, the council will take appropriate action to address this. In the case of a series breach, the council will seek to recover possession via the court process.

Coping with the death of a friend or relative is never easy and trying to deal with their affairs can be complicated.

You should let us know about the tenant’s death as soon as possible. We can advise you if anyone remaining living in the property has a right of succession to remain in the property. We can also talk you through the process of bringing the tenancy to an end, which will differ depending on who you are in relation to the deceased.  Please be aware that housing benefit will end on the Sunday following a tenant’s death, so please contact us as soon as possible.

When a tenant dies, there may be a right for the tenancy to be passed on which is known as succession. A tenancy can only be passed on once. The rules governing the rights of succession depend on when the tenancy started and the type of tenancy held.

It is possible on occasions to assign a tenancy from one party to another, commonly when a joint tenant wishes to assign their part of a joint tenancy to the other party, leaving them as the sole tenant. This can only happen once and counts as a succession of the tenancy.