Death of landlord

by Readers Question

14:28 PM, 18th September 2018
About 3 months ago

Death of landlord

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Death of landlord

My sister in law’s father has recently died, owning a student house which is let for this year.

Although the property is jointly owned, his widow doesn’t appear on the tenancy agreement.

Is it difficult to add her to the student’s agreement or does she need something else?

Thanks

David



Comments

Mark Alexander

14:42 PM, 18th September 2018
About 3 months ago

I’m not certain in this so I’m interested to see what others have to say. On this basis, please do not consider the following to be advice.

Have you considered letting the student know and asking them to sign a new tenancy agreement? This would probably be OK if the property was owned as Joint Tenants but might not be if it was owned as Tenants in Common.

Has your Sister-In-Law considered Deposit Protection?

I recommend taking urgent legal advice on this, because time limits may well apply, particularly in regards to Deposit Protection.

Rob Crawford

15:47 PM, 18th September 2018
About 3 months ago

A good AST will have a clause in it that refers to the succession of the landlord in such events. You may not have to do anything.

Ian Narbeth

16:54 PM, 18th September 2018
About 3 months ago

David
His widow should notify the tenants in writing and (if there is a change in bank account) ask them to pay the rent to her account. If the students raise any objections she may have to show either that she has acquired the house as a surviving joint tenant or once probate is issued that she is the beneficiary.

Roy B

10:26 AM, 19th September 2018
About 3 months ago

I think it will be in the hands of the executor and his estate untill the end of the tenancy even after probate. Untill probate is granted there is not much that can be done. If deposits were not protected it would be down to his estate but were I a beneficiary I would check and try and insure them if not already protected.

Graham Bowcock

11:49 AM, 19th September 2018
About 3 months ago

Dear David

There are arguably two separate issues here. The first one is the omission of the widow from the tenancy agreement. This needs to be rectified for several reasons. In the event of any court action, a judge may decide she has no interest as she is not named on the tenancy agreement (I have had a similar case). The landlord should (nearly) always match the owners registered at the Land Registry - there are a few exceptions. From a tax point of view she should be entitled to (and declaring) half of the profit (unless there is a Declaration of Trust or other document in place).

The tenancy agreement itself cannot now be altered, but the matter can be dealt with quite simply by writing to the tenant and notifying them of the landlord's details including full contact details. This can now include reference to the Executors who have become the joint owner; this being the second part of the question. The same notice can apply. Upon purchase (which may include transfer but I do not know) there is a legal requirement to notify the tenant within two months.

It would therefore seem to be prudent for full details to be sent to the tenant in writing, setting out the landlord's details. I do not believe there is a prescribed format, but the agent should be able to do it (or failing that the solicitors for the Executors).

Graham


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