Couple rented my property, husband died

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    Originally posted by mariner View Post
    Why waste a month? Serve s21 now, with an expiry date of 2 months+ hence.
    Seems reasonable, but I would enclose a covering letter explaining that you understand her current situation but this is to cover the possibility that she is unable to clear the arrears by the agreed date and maintain payments thereafter,,as you cannot be without income indefinitely [assuming that you are otherwise happy with her conduct].


      Originally posted by mariner View Post
      Why waste a month? Serve s21 now, with an expiry date of 2 months+ hence.
      Most banks will give spouse limited access to deceased's account to pay essential household expenses, subject to available funds, whilst awaiting Grant of Probate., subject to sight of Death Certificate.
      A couple of reasons. One is simple compassion. Right now her world has collapsed. She is already cutting herself off from the managing agents claiming they are harrassing her, and if she only saw the council last week (and btw managed to pay the owed rent in full) then she obviously is getting access to funds. As theartfullodger pointed out - treat those as you would like to be treated themselves. So I feel that three months grace was more than reasonable under the circumstances as she obviously can't remain there rent free indefinitely.

      Initially I asked them to tell her she had until 22 February to either get sorted, or tell us she wanted to go, and I feel I ought to honour that.

      However, we have asked to meet face to face if she is willing to discuss if she even wants/can afford to stay, on 5th Feb and if the answer to each of those is NO, then absolutely a S21 should be served but she will still owe as it stands one month in arrears and the remaining month's rent. If she comes to this decision on her own, then it makes it maybe a little more affordable to find what she owes and goes quickly.

      But you are also correct - we are not sure of what has gone on with the bank and how they are helping her with rent, utilities etc, and when she has paid, she has paid the amount in full - so we can assume the bank are releasing some money for her (as you say assuming the money is there). They certainly did for the first month because she told us she was taking a bunch of forms to them to get the money. Who knows for the second payment - as you say - depends on how many funds are there, his business was a going concern but obviously there will be legal ramifications on its running in the event of his death...


        An update
        Turns out the confusion and angst over the explanation of eviction at 2 months in arrears came because the widow assumed the November rent had been paid. This is why she could not understand why she was being pushed for the payment in arrears and was paying in full exactly one month behind.

        At the arrangement of the managing agent, I met with her, some friends who have been helping her and the agent. Turns out she and her husband had basically lived off his earnings from his active business. Unfortunately, she had not been in work in the UK for any consistent time over the past five years to warrant receiving ANY kind of benefit.

        Amusingly when I arrived one of the friends was verbally laying into the managing agent for 'threatening eviction' until he pointed out that the November payment had never been made so she was always one month in arrears. Kinda took the sting out of the friend's tail but it at least then made sense to them why she was getting herself into a bit of trouble. The friends and her family back in continental Europe have been paying the rent for her all this time and she has no income at the moment so this will affect not only the rent but utility bills, food etc.

        She had not even started the probate proceedings, so I tried to gently set the scene for her that even with relatively straightforward affairs (my father, intestate, 9 months, my mother, probate with everything coming to me... 8 months). Her friends stated they would arrange the appointment with a solicitor and be with her as a spare pair of ears while they get the process going to wind up her husband's business (apparently there is plenty of money there, just all frozen obviously just now).

        She is, obviously, still very very affected by her late husband's passing, but her friends stated to us they would guarantee her rent for another two months to give her time to figure out what to do (we suspect... return home to Europe once the legal wheels start turning). They have been very good to her - I am not sure she can take in at the moment how lucky she has been to have them front up the money since November, so five months and ongoing.

        I have instructed the managing agents to be ready with a Section 21 in April. She had the wherewithal to ask about the six weeks held in deposit, so she knows there is the potential to use those 6 weeks to sort out her affairs before she leaves. Her friends are acting as guarantors until at least April so I want to be prepared in case they say they can't do it anymore.

        She says she wants to be able to move on with her life but in order to do that she has to get the ball rolling on his probate, and start thinking ahead, so hopefully in some small way this reconciliation meeting at least smoothed the waters between her and the managing agent and at least gave him a direct contact with her current guarantors, which was a better position than we were in before when it had all but broken down over a misunderstanding of what had ACTUALLY been paid.

        Thanks to everyone who gave me advice...


          Suggest to her to check what benefits she's entitled to - both as widow & HB etc etc. I'd expect her to get pretty much the max single adult HB/LHA rate to significantly help with rent

          All very sad...
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


            The friends went with her to the council and they said tbf the council tried every which way to see if she could qualify ... looks to me that they lived off his earnings, she'd do some catering (it was a marquee business I think doing very well from where they lived originally), and so she didn't look for any other work. So unfortunately she cannot prove she even was living at the address for the last few years, even though she signed the joint tenancy agreement, and as she is not a UK citizen but with a passport for an Eu country, thet can't do anything.

            You are right it is desperately sad, and thinking back to when my father died, while my mother had her pension coming in and her own account, she was utterly incapable of dealing with all the admin that came with dad's affairs being closed out by the solicitor so I had to do that all for her. Her son lives in Europe, but like I said she is exceptionally lucky that he and these local friends are stepping in to help - but... surely it is not sustainable and both the managing agent and I suspect at 6 months (which will be May) she might reasonably be expected to start sorting out her affairs herself and looking at how to move on with her life, as she told me.

            We are poised and ready with the S21 and hopefully it will be the more compassionate measure rather than scaring the bejasus out of her with the threat of a S8. I think we drew a line under that one in the face to face.


              Not sure how long your tenant has been in the UK or how long her late husband worked for, but if they can find evidence of 5 years work for the late husband, then she should be able to gain qualifying right to reside.


              Right of permanent residence

              15.--(1) The following persons acquire the right to reside in the United Kingdom permanently

              (e) a person who was the family member of a worker or self-employed person where—
              (i) the worker or self-employed person has died;
              (ii) the family member resided with the worker or self-employed person immediately before the death; and
              (iii) the worker or self-employed person had resided continuously in the United Kingdom for at least two years immediately before dying or the death was the result of an accident at work or an occupational disease;

              I assume that your tenant is of pension age? If yes, I would advise her to just submit an application for Housing Benefit. You don't get appeal rights without an application being submitted.


                Hi I don't think she is of pension age - he was only in his late 50's when he passed away but I will pass this on just in case she can get hold of the paperwork required. The friend and her said that the council did their best to find any which way they could to see if she could qualify for benefits, but it is worth a try for her.


                  If she's not pension age, then she will likely have to claim Universal Credit as I believe full service roll out was completed in December 2018.



                    Cheers - Suspect she will fall foul of the fact she retained her European citizenship and will still be unable to claim as she doesn't not have 5 years of evidence of paid work in this country. She was happy to do some catering for her husband's business and they seemed to live comfortably enough on his earnings alone.

                    She assured me there is plenty tied up in the business - but it needs to be wound down and closed properly which will of course take time. That she hadn't begun the probate process in the 3 or so months since he passed might be a factor now, as it will soon become unsustainable for local friends and her family back home to keep bailing her out on the rent.


                      Did husband have Private Pension with any transferable rights for spouse?
                      Always include a current statement when claiming for arrears.


                        Can you direct her to the Citizen's Advice Bureau? Do you know if the husband paid National Insurance, she may be entitled to some widows benefit. Someone needs to look at what tax the husband paid and if a rebate is due on that.

                        To prove she's been living here - whose name is on the bills? Has she ever seen a doctor since living here? Any photographs of her with these friends at events that can be dated?

                        If she was here 5 years with her husband having a right to reside then she can probably claim a right to reside too I've looked at the sections on separating from a partner as that seems the nearest equivalent.

                        She really needs help from the CAB, likely to be better than the council.


                          Originally posted by mariner View Post
                          Did husband have Private Pension with any transferable rights for spouse?
                          Always include a current statement when claiming for arrears.

                          Not sure - she did tell us at the big pow-wow to get things back on an even keel with the managing agents that he did have a will and that there was plenty of money tied up in his business - enough to see her right. At that stage though (3-4 months on) she had not approached any solicitors to start the probate proceedings.



                            I certainly can suggest the managing agent communicates that via her friends. I hesitate to say he must have done, as he ran a successful business, but he seems to have completely left her in the lurch despite knowing he had a terminal illness, so I don't want to assume he had any kind of future fund planning.

                            Suspect that although she did sign the joint tenancy agreement, it looks as though he was the main bill holder, although of course since he has passed, she will have had to transfer the bills to her name.

                            Her friends/family were guaranteeing her to this month after which she would have to make a decision about her future at the property. She has gone back to the EU for now, back at the weekend. LA is going to meet with the friends who have basically supported/guaranteed her since the husband died, and they as much said when we all met that she needed these past two months to decide what she was going to do. the rent will technically be on time for me (payment date from agents is 6th of the month) she has been late to them these past two months.

                            We have suggested a number of avenues for her to try now, and also strongly suggested she get a solicitor to start probate proceedings, so we should get a take on how far she has got with that.

                            Suspect that she will return to Europe and live with family over there which is possible if she kicks the probate off - but I know from experience it can take a long time if you don't chase the solicitors constantly... BUT from the property perspective... she will be out, on her own decision with one month's notice, which is a better prospect to get it re-rented. Of course our other option is to give her notice with two months but as the rent has been paid and she is back up tp date thanks to family and friends, I believe my only option here is a Section 21.


                              s21 (Form 6A) to T requires min 2 months and some checks for valid Service.


                                Originally posted by mariner View Post
                                s21 (Form 6A) to T requires min 2 months and some checks for valid Service.
                                OK - Been in conversation with the LA and I think that is the course of action we are going to take. She was only guaranteed up to this month anyway from her friends, and unless they are willing to guarantee her going forward seemingly indefinitely while her affairs are being sorted out and her husband's business wound up, then it is best for her to move back to Europe where she is able to stay with her family while it is all going through. I like to feel I gave her the best chance to get things underway, but it is obvious that her not bringing in any income and having to pay rent, council tax and utilities all on handouts from family and friends is just not sustainable.

                                Thanks all for the ongoing advice and guidance. Appreciate it.


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