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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Please accept my condolences for your loss. May I clarify that your father live in a council property please?
Thanks. How long was your aunt living with your father prior to his passing? Did anyone else live with him?
Thanks. Finally can you confirm you father had lived in his property since before April 2012 (I assume so from what you say above) and that he did not have a demoted or introductory tenancy - this would normally only be the case if he had been persistently in arrears with rent
thank you. individuals who are members of your father's family can the if they can demonstrate they have lived with your father for more than 12 months prior to his passing succeed to the tenancy. However, only certain individuals are classed as being members of his family for the purposes of succession. siblings nephews and nieces are included as being eligible members of your father's family to succeed and accordingly, providing they can demonstrate that they have lived with him for 12 months or more, they can make an application to succeed to your father's tenancy. The burden of proof will be upon them to demonstrate that they have lived with your father to 12 years or more prior to his passing and the council are unlikely to readily accept their word for this and therefore some form of documentary evidence will normally be required
subject to the above, they may wish to asked the council for an application form for succession
is there anything above I can clarify for you?
My sincere apologies - I was obviously on auto pilot. The required period is 12 months not 12 years. You are correct.
Is there anything else I can help you with?
because neither your cousin not your sister are your father's spouse, the council are entitled following succession to require your cousin to move to a smaller property if that is the council's wish if you cannot demonstrate that the property is the appropriate size for their requirements which being only two of them, would likely be the position here. If your property is smaller than father's property and as an appropriate size for them, and, if you can demonstrate that your father's four-bedroom house is an appropriate size for you and your family then the exchange can be reproposed and completed on this basis. if however your father's property is too large for you and your family to justify is being required to your needs or your present property would still be too large for your aunt and cousin, the council may resist and refuse the proposed exchange
Sorry I have noticed further typos above. I will repost the initial part of the above.because neither your cousin nor your aunt are your father's spouse, the council are entitled following succession to require your cousin and/or aunt to move to a smaller property if that is the council's wish if you cannot demonstrate that the property is the appropriate size for their requirements which being only two of them, would likely be the position here....
A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.