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Death of a tenant

Coping with the death of a friend or relative is never easy, and trying to deal with their affairs can be complicated and upsetting. The following guidance should help you through this difficult time by explaining what you need to do when a resident of one of our properties dies. If there is anything you are unsure of, please contact us.

Who should I inform?

You should tell us about the death of a tenant as soon as possible.

You will need to provide us with the following:

  • a copy of the death certificate
  • confirmation of the executor of the will, or letter of administration.

What is a letter of administration?

A letter of administration provides evidence that you have legal responsibility to manage the estate if there is no will or executor. Gov.uk has guidance and advice on applying to become an administrator.

What if I have a joint tenancy with the person who has died?

If you are a joint tenant, you have the right to take over the tenancy and stay in your home. You are responsible for any overdue rent and any other money owed on the property.

What about the rent?

Where a tenant dies, it is still necessary to bring the tenancy to an end. To do this a copy of the death certificate and four weeks’ notice is normally required. However, in some cases it may be possible to end it sooner. 

It is important to note that rent will continue to be payable until the keys are returned. If the tenant was receiving Housing Benefit, this will automatically be cancelled on the Sunday following their death.

If there is an outstanding balance on the tenant’s rent account after the keys have been returned, we will seek to recover this balance from the estate. It will therefore be helpful if we are informed of who is dealing with the tenant’s affairs.

What should I do before ending the tenancy?

We politely request that the property be handed back completely empty of furniture, carpets, curtains, and refuse.

Any items in the loft or garden, including a greenhouse or the tenant’s own shed, should be removed. If there are any articles left in the property or garden we may charge for their disposal.

Who else do I need to contact?

Look through our list of other organisations and companies you may need to inform.