Tenant passed away

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    Tenant passed away

    My mother has a rental property and unfortunately the tenant has passed away suddenly. The parents of the deceased have asked my mother to clear the property, I don’t think that this is her job? I am going with her tomorrow to enter the property and find out what the family have asked her to do specifically. Does anyone have any experience or advice on what to do. Many thanks

    #2
    The tenancy continues (I know that seems odd) until it is ended by either a fixed term ending, the tenant's estate (in the person of an executor) serving valid notice or the estate and the landlord agreeing on a surrender.
    Otherwise, the landlord should serve notice and then go to court to obtain a possession order and then bailiffs.

    If the tenant dies without a will, there's likely to be a significant delay, meaning that the landlord's notice is the only viable option.

    While the family probably aren't aware of that - and are probably not in a state of mind to start dealing with the issue right away, the estate has to continue paying rent and will be responsible for any damage caused during the tenancy etc.
    Most people aren't aware of this, and there's a risk that the landlord comes across very badly if the issue isn't handled properly.

    Your mother can only enter the property legally having given 24 hours written notice and isn't allowed to touch the tenant's possessions, let alone clear them.
    As you say, that's the family's job.

    But, basically, until the tenancy ends, it carries on just as though the death hadn't happened.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      https://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/20...e-tenant-dies/

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you, that was my thought, the tenancy was set up by a letting agency but she maintains it herself, maybe they will be of some use or go between with the carrot of finding the next tenants? The tenant passed suddenly and was only around 40 years old so I’m quite sure the parents are not in a place to think about tenancy agreements but also may not have the funds to continue with the rental payments in the meantimethus leaving mum in a difficult position.

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          #5
          I'd suggest contacting the family in response to their request that your mother clears the property and - having offered condolences for their loss, lovely person, amazing tenant etc - say.

          Having taken advice, because the tenancy continues, I am not in a position to enter the property without the permission of the estate and certainly am in no position to touch or move any of x's possessions. I am more than happy to facilitate access to enable things to be sorted out and removed. If you wish I can visit to try and make sure the property is secure.

          When things are a little less stressed, it would be great to talk about how we end the tenancy and keep things as sensible as possible.

          A week or so's delay makes a huge amount of difference.

          Your mother might be "lucky" and the bank continues paying standing orders for a while.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            The parents are not responsible for the rent. That duty falls onto the tenant's estate. It seems quite likely that the estate may not cover the rent, in which case it might be to your advantage to get an early surrender, in which case taking on the clearing of the property might be an incentive to doing that quickly.

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              #7
              Until the estate has an executor, there's no one to surrender the tenancy with the landlord.
              If there's no will, it will take a while to sort out an executor.

              The landlord serving notice is the most sensible step, but it looks amazingly tactless and rude to any grieving relative.
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                It seems like it could be a legal minefield. He had rented the property for a long time (15-20 years) he was a single man around 40ish without children so I imagine his parents will be executors of the Will (if there is one and I’m not hopeful) it does seem particularly harsh to serve a legal notice for possession at this time. I’m thinking they have asked mum to sort it as they can’t face it but if they are happy to have it sorted it suggests that they would be open to surrendering the tenanacy. I will chat to mum and see if we can get in touch with the parents, maybe go into the house to secure it and photograph how it is. I am reluctant to move anything as I don’t think we are legally supposed to and to be honest it feels a bit weird, I didn’t know the man at all and don’t really want to sort through his belongings. Maybe there is enough in his bank or estate to cover the rent for a couple of months whilst it gets cleared or Mum might just have to loose this income. Thanks for the advice

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