Question

Deceased tenant

20 Mar 2017 | 3 comments

Sadly I have recently discovered 6-3-17 letter date via the local authority council tax department that my tenant has passed away.I also received dated 17-2-17 housing benefit letter stating housing benefit stopped on 16-1-17.
I have tried contacted the tenant prior to 6-3-17 via email and left messages on mobile the weekend I visited the property in Wales , as I live in London and the mail etc was high behind the door.The tenancy is a Guild AST rolling commenced on 12-3-12 and would like to sell the property asap.
There is a sizeable water bill with my name attached already on the door matt as the water bill has not been paid for years and council tax want to know when the tenancy is to end. I was aware the tenant had a grown up son and maybe a mother alive however that is all I know and he lived alone at the property.He spent time at his lady friends home or his mothers home , he informed me a while back.
The house was furnished by myself and there appears to be no clothes and little personal items left only cutlery and some kitchen plates etc.
A washing machine and fitted wardrobes have disappeared and he did have a caravan which has also gone.
I have no contact details of his son or anyone who he may have been friends with having left the area myself a long time ago.
Any suggestions ?
Kind Regards

Answer

3 Comments

  1. guildy

    The death of a tenant does not end the tenancy. The tenancy has passed to the estate of the deceased who technically continue to owe the rent (not that many would claim from the estate unless they were being uncooperative).

    You really could do with seeing if you can find the people you mention because it’s unlawful to just change the locks and take over the property without it being properly ended. Of course if you think the estate have abandoned the tenancy by clearing out etc. that would be a defence but it would be much better to have somebody confirm everything has been cleared and the tenancy at an end. Ideally the keys need returning and that would be the best sign that the tenancy is at an end.

    If there was a deposit, your prescribed information should have the box completed about an address to be used at the end of the tenancy. That would be a good starting point. Otherwise, see what information you have from the tenants completion of the application form in 2012 (this should have a next of kin completed).

    Please see this article about death of a tenant.

  2. 1427

    Hi Giddy ,

    Unfortunately there is no next of kin on the AST , and no deposit so I am at a loss where to start.
    As the local authority alerted me I wonder if they have any forwarding address.
    I am concerned that on my next visit there may be the boiler or more furniture gone and the house may be in a bad way.

    Thanks

  3. guildy

    Certainly try the local authority. As I say, if you truly believe the estate has abandoned the tenancy then, it wouldn’t be as serious an offence where there is no one living there as the consequences aren’t as serious.

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