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no succession rights for children of joint tenants

25 July 2012

The Supreme Court has issued its key ruling on succession to tenancies.

In 1980 Mr and Mrs Hickin became secure tenants of a council property they had lived in with their daughter since 1967. Mr Hickin eventually left the property and in 2007 Mrs Hickin died.

Their daughter challenged Solihull Council’s possession proceedings against her claiming that the tenancy had vested in her by virtue of succession.

The Supreme Court ordered possession in favour of the Council, confirming that the transfer to Mr Hickin acted as though it was a succession so that no further successions were possible.

Some social landlords may have granted the daughter a voluntary “non-statutory” succession. However, there are cases where they will not want to do this. For example, if the property’s size makes it more appropriate for it to be occupied by a family.

This decision will be another tool to help social landlords ensure that the most appropriate occupants are tenants in the right type of property.

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