T dies; effect of death on Letting Agreement?

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    T dies; effect of death on Letting Agreement?

    I had a tenant on a shorthold tenancy, which was a monthly periodic tenancy after the initial term had expired. She died about 3 weeks ago. Her son had lived with her for some of the tenancy, and was living with her when she died. He wishes to take on the tenancy, but i'm not sure whether I really want him to, for various reasons.

    Am I correct in assuming that the tenancy does not pass to her son? If I want to keep him I guess I just start a new shorthold in his name?

    And if I want to S21 him, do I make out the notice in his mums name or his?

    I would be very grateful if anyone can offer their advice.

    #2
    In these circumstances, I would be inclined, legal rights or not, to give the son a little breathing space before you start sending legal notices etc. Bear in mind how you would feel if the boot was on the other foot!

    But to answer you - no the son cannot succeed to the tenancy as such - he can obviously stay there whilst you go through the legal moves to remove him (this is different from the rights of sucession of regulated tenants where a person living as a relative with the tenant for two years before death of the tenant can succeed as of right to the tenancy). If you now wish to proceed with removal of the son, you will need to serve two months notice on S21 using the correct form for a periodic tenancy - you should serve it on Mrs. name (deceased) c/o the executor - serving a copy directly on the executor if you know who it is. I would also serve a S21 notice separately on the son because if you accept any rent from him on behalf of his late mother, you could be deemed to have commenced a separate tenancy agreement with him. Also receipt any money you get off him in his mothers name (deceased) and mark it as mesne profits once you have served the S21 notice.

    If you do want to keep the son on - simply agree a new AST in his name.

    Comment


      #3
      I have to correct David on this point as there is an option open to the landlord that doesn't affect his rights.

      As the tenant has died he can allow anybody who was living there with the tenant to continue to do so for up to 12 months and to collect rent from this person without granting them any new tenancy.

      The landlord can then decide whether he wants to offer them a new AST or not, upon which the occupant must leave if he decides against it. It is obviously a sensitive matter but if handled well shoud not pose any problems.
      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

      Comment


        #4
        Death of tenant

        Any advice appreciated on this matter,I have not previously had this situation and I wish i did not have to post this. But i have recently had a long term tenant die very suddenly, with no immediate family, and no contact from anyone in the extended family, i wondered what advice anyone can give, the property still has all their possesions.
        Opinions given are mine, They are not necessarily correct, as the more I learn the less I know, You should always seek professional help.

        Comment


          #5
          Give your local council a call.

          They have a legal obligation to deal with the remains of the person with due dignity, including cremation. As part of this they will attend the deceased's abode and go through the personal possessions to see if there are any assets to defray their costs.

          As you will not be able to market or let the property until this is done, I would have thought that rent would still be due and can be levied against the deposit, as would be house clearance if there was any furniture, but I'm not sure on this and is a point that other members may have more knowledge of.
          On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

          Comment


            #6
            I presume there was only the tenant in residence in which case the tenancy has ended. You have to store the tenants belongings somewhere safe, for which the cost should be met by his estate, but I don't see why you can't relet the property.
            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

            Comment


              #7
              I half expect someone, someday, to ask if a dead tenant is required to give 4 weeks notice to terminate the tenancy!!!!!!

              Seriously though, one the few occasions I have had a tenant decease - the executors or the relatives have been in touch quite quickly and sorted things out and paid the rent as normal until the house was cleared and available to re-let.

              Note that HB/LHA stops immediately on death and I do not know of any circumstance where any allowance is payable from point of death until clearance of the property. You also have to be very careful about going into the house to clear it or arrange storage because you can be accused of misappropriating or losing things, but in the OP's case, he does not appear to have much choice.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by welshgold View Post
                Any advice appreciated on this matter,I have not previously had this situation and I wish i did not have to post this. But i have recently had a long term tenant die very suddenly, with no immediate family, and no contact from anyone in the extended family, i wondered what advice anyone can give, the property still has all their possesions.
                I agree with the other responses.

                Re "long term tenant": is this a long leaseholder, or just a Tenancy Agreement holder of long standing?

                You could also contact the Public Trustee, a Crown Office which would be involved if there are no other personal representatives (whether executors or administrators) of Deceased.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                  .

                  Re "long term tenant": is this a long leaseholder, or just a Tenancy Agreement holder of long standing?

                  .
                  thankyou for all replies, to clarify this it was relativly young tenant on a ast of long standing, who died in hospital 3 days after being admitted for a minor op and who had no previous major health problems.

                  the comment DJB MADE
                  .I half expect someone, someday, to ask if a dead tenant is required to give 4 weeks notice to terminate the tenancy!!!!!!.
                  This no doubt was done as a lightheated remark, but i am certainly not asking the question with any financial motive, as i feel very sad this has happened and only wanted to know what was the best for me to do.
                  Last edited by welshgold; 20-10-2006, 14:18 PM.
                  Opinions given are mine, They are not necessarily correct, as the more I learn the less I know, You should always seek professional help.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Help - Death of a Tenant

                    Hi,

                    My tenant died suddenly 2 weeks ago and I really did not know what to do about it so I waited for the family to get in touch with me to arrange things. The first thing the family asked was when they could get the deposit back?
                    They have not even cleared the house of the possessions yet.

                    My tenant had paid one month's rent in advance and I had taken a £400 deposit from her. There was a months notice on the tenancy.
                    The tenant was paid up until the end of this month.
                    Can anyone let me know where I stand?

                    I also have been just been informed that the tenant had house keys cut and these had been given to at least 3 other people so I will have to get the locks changed on the property before I can relet it.

                    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      What an awful situation to be in ba baracus.

                      I do not know what the legal situation is with regards the circumstances and of course it is going to be uncomfortable for you dealing with the family.

                      Obviously lack of notice could not be helped in this scenario and so it will be a matter for you (& your conscience how you proceed) - taking into consideration any legal advice you might received from other more learned members on this site.

                      In your situation, I would be tempted to inform the family that the rent is settled until the end of the month and allow the grace of the 'paid for' period to remove the deceased tenant's belongings.

                      Re the house keys - I would think that you would be justified in having the locks changed and deducting the cost from the deposit. Is there likely to be any further deductions (for damage etc) from the deposit? Explain to the family that you can not release the deposit until you have inspected the property after they have vacated it. & even then I would suspect that the deposit couldn't just be handed over 'willy nilly' to just anyone.

                      You really do need to know who legally has the right to the deposit money. Maybe Jeffrey would be able to answer that question...? I wouldn't part with any money until you have a clear answer as the rightful owner of the deposit could end up chasing you for it.

                      Hope what little bit of advice I've provided helps in some way.

                      Kind Regards

                      J

                      Comment


                        #12
                        http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/RightsAn...ey/DG_10030994

                        Just the page to help you.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Serve notice under Section, Ground 7.

                          Ground 7
                          The tenancy is a periodic tenancy (including a statutory periodic tenancy) which has devolved under the will or intestacy of the former tenant and the proceedings for the recovery of possession are begun not later than twelve months after the death of the former tenant or, if the court so directs, after the date on which, in the opinion of the court, the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, any one of them became aware of the former tenant’s death.
                          For the purposes of this ground, the acceptance by the landlord of rent from a new tenant after the death of the former tenant shall not be regarded as creating a new periodic tenancy, unless the landlord agrees in writing to a change (as compared with the tenancy before the death) in the amount of rent, the period of the tenancy, the premises which are let or any other term of the tenancy.

                          Notice
                          2 months

                          Don't pay anything to anyone without a valid letter of probate.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by attilathelandlord View Post
                            Serve notice under Section, Ground 7.

                            Ground 7
                            The tenancy is a periodic tenancy (including a statutory periodic tenancy) which has devolved under the will or intestacy of the former tenant and the proceedings for the recovery of possession are begun not later than twelve months after the death of the former tenant or, if the court so directs, after the date on which, in the opinion of the court, the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, any one of them became aware of the former tenant’s death.
                            For the purposes of this ground, the acceptance by the landlord of rent from a new tenant after the death of the former tenant shall not be regarded as creating a new periodic tenancy, unless the landlord agrees in writing to a change (as compared with the tenancy before the death) in the amount of rent, the period of the tenancy, the premises which are let or any other term of the tenancy.

                            Notice
                            2 months

                            Don't pay anything to anyone without a valid letter of probate.
                            I agree entirely. Odd that the relatives' first thought is the £££ !
                            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The funds are frozen pending receipt of death certificate, letter from their solicitor saying who the executor is. Then you negotiate with the executor and no one else.
                              ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

                              Comment

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