What to do if a tenant dies
Coping with the death of a friend or relative is never easy and trying to deal with their affairs can be complicated and upsetting. We have put together some information to help you at such a difficult time.
What should I do if a tenant dies?
If you are the next of kin, or acting on behalf of a tenant, please tell us about the tenant's death as soon as possible. You can visit us, phone us, send us an email or write to us - whichever is easiest . You will find our contact details here.
What is the process for ending the tenancy?
We will ask you to fill in a form to officially end the tenancy:
- The minimum notice period we can accept due to death of a tenant is two weeks, we are able to extend this period by agreement . Please note that the termination period starts on the date we are notified of the death, and not the actual date of the death
- If the tenant was receiving housing benefit this ends immediately on their death
- Rent will continue to be charged until the tenancy has ended and the keys to the property have been returned to us
- Any rent due, and charges for repairs, should be paid from the tenant's estate
We will need the following details:
- Name and address of the deceased
- Date of death
- The details of the tenant's next of kin (closest relative)
- Your address or the address of the person dealing with the tenant's affairs (if not you)
- The date the keys will be handed in
If you have a copy of the tenant's death certificate please provide a copy.
When we receive the notice you will be sent an acknowledgement letter confirming a termination date. If you need longer than two weeks to clear the property, please tell us so that we can come to an agreement with you.
What should I do before ending the tenancy?
You will need to move all the tenant's belongings out of the home. In addition, you should also:
- We recommend that you contact the voids team on 01476 406080 to arrange a pre-termination inspection of the property. At this inspection you will be able to discuss any items you may want to leave and be advised of any cost you maybe liable for
- Redirect the post
- Read the gas, electricity and water meters and give the reading to the utility companies so they can send the final bills
- Turn off the water at the stopcock
- Lock the doors to the property and make sure all the windows are shut
- Tell the housing benefit and council tax section of the council if the tenant received housing benefit or council tax benefit
What should I do with unwanted furniture?
The property must be left empty and in good condition. If there are any items left in the property we will dispose of them but will charge the tenant's estate for the cost of removal so would therefore be better if you can clear all the furniture. You can contact our waste team on 01476 406080 for information about our Bulky Waste - Having a clear out? We can help! collection services.
Handing in the keys
Keys should be handed in at any of our offices.
When returning keys to our office you should request a receipt from the receptionist. Please keep it safe as it is proof that you have handed in the keys. If you are posting them please use recorded delivery and ensure they are clearly tagged with the property address along with a covering letter, which should include signed confirmation that any good left in the property can be disposed of.
The keys should be returned not later than 12 noon on Monday following the termination date. If you do not return the keys by 12 noon on Monday you will be charged another weeks rent.
How will I know how if there is any rent outstanding?
When we receive the keys to the property you will be sent a final rent statement showing what is outstanding or in credit.
Can a relative take over the tenancy?
If you or someone else was living with the tenant when they died you should refer to our leaflet regarding succession of a tenant; copies of this are available at any of our offices or on our website.