When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Adding someone to your social tenancy

You may want to add someone else's name onto your tenancy.  This could happen if you originally moved into the property as a single person, but you now have a partner.  You need to get the Housing Executive or housing association's permission to create the joint tenancy. 

Other people living in your social tenancy

Your tenancy is your home, so you're allowed to have other people live with you. You should let your landlord know if someone is going to be moving into your home, but you don't need permission.  This person has no legal rights in the property though because he or she is not named on the tenancy agreement.  If you want to add a person to your tenancy, you need your landlord's permission. 

If you charge this person rent to live in the property the person is a sub-tenant, and you'll need to get your landlord's permission.  If you are charging rent to someone who lives with you and that person is a member of your family he or she won't be able to get help from housing benefit to pay the rent. 

If you're getting benefits and there are people living in your home who aren't dependent on you, like adult children, an amount will be deducted from your housing benefit or universal credit for each one of these people.  This is because the government assumes these people are giving you money because they're living with you.  This non-dependent deduction will be made even if your non-dependants aren't contributing any money to you. 

Adding someone to your tenancy

There's no limit to the number of people who can be joint tenants of a property.  Joint tenants are all equally responsible for paying the rent on a property and for sticking to the terms of the tenancy agreement.  

Your landlord can add someone to your tenancy if the person you want to add

Your landlord can refuse to grant a joint tenancy, even if you meet the circumstances above if it suspects that you, the original tenant, plan to move out of the property after the joint tenancy is created.  If your landlord has refused to grant a joint tenancy, get in touch with Housing Rights to find out if there's anything that you can do to change this decision. 

Housing Benefit and Universal Credit for joint tenants

Joint tenants are jointly responsible for the rent on the property. If you are a couple, you should be claiming benefits jointly. If you aren't in a couple, you will need to have your own benefits claims, but the help you get towards rent will be based solely on your portion of the rent. Sometimes, it isn't possible for a person to get help with rent payments when they become a joint tenant if they have previously lived in the household as a non-dependant. Get advice before adding someone who has been living in your household as a non-dependant to your tenancy.