When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Adding someone to your social tenancy

You can add someone else to your tenancy. But, 

  • you need your landlord's permission to do this
  • your landlord can refuse in some circumstances.  

You don't have to add people who live with you to your tenancy.  

Making someone a joint tenant

You can ask your landlord to add someone as a joint tenancy if

  • they are your husband wife or civil partner, or
  • they've been living with you as part of your household for at least a year, 
  • they could inherit the tenancy when you die, or
  • they lived with you when you first moved into your home. 

Your landlord might ask for proof that someone has been living with you. Things like utility bills, bank statements or official letters will help prove this. 

Refusing to add a joint tenant

Your landlord can refuse to add a joint tenant if they have evidence that you plan to move out of the property soon. Get advice if your landlord has refused to let you add someone to your tenancy.

Rights of joint tenants

Joint tenants have equal rights to a home. You are all responsible for

  • paying the rent
  • looking after the property
  • each other's behaviour. 

Changes to benefits if you create a joint tenancy

Your benefits may change if you add someone to your tenancy. That person is now responsible for paying some of the rent. Universal Credit, or Housing Benefit, can refuse to help with your rent if they think you've changed your tenancy so that

  • you can claim benefits when you couldn't before, or
  • you can claim extra benefits to help with rent. 

Get advice if you've changed your tenancy and you need help to pay rent.

Removing someone from a joint tenancy

Joint tenants have equal rights to the property. This can cause problems if you don't want to live with the other joint tenant. Your landlord will not decide who gets the tenancy if you both want to stay in the property as sole tenants. You will have to

  • negotiate and try to agree with each other, or
  • ask the courts to sort it out. 

Ending a joint tenancy

One joint tenant can end the tenancy for everyone. Your landlord may let you stay in the property as a sole tenant if the other tenant(s) ends the tenancy. But, they don't have to do this. 

Get advice if a joint tenant has ended your tenancy.

Living with people who are not on your tenancy

You can let someone live in your home without adding them to your tenancy. You should

  • let your landlord know if someone else is living with you
  • let Universal Credit or any other benefits you get know if someone else is living with you.