Landlord passed away during possession proceedings – Please help

by Readers Question

2 weeks ago

Landlord passed away during possession proceedings – Please help

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Landlord passed away during possession proceedings – Please help

A local agent was employed to find tenant for my friends property. A tenant was found and they moved in.

Unfortunately my friends husband became very ill and they needed the property back to house a farm manager.

A section 21 was served by the Estate Agent, which the tenants ignored. Court papers were filed and possession was granted.

Tenants put in a counter claim and the judgement was set aside until end of January 2018.

The landlord sadly passed away last week, and the house and court paper work is in his name.

What happens now to the eviction?

Also looking through the paper work it seems the deposit was not protected within 30 days, and on the AST the landlords wife has signed not him.

Please can some help me? I don’t know what to do next.

Thank you

Tracie

Comments

Neil Patterson

2 weeks ago

Dear Tracie,

I am very sorry to hear about your friend's husband.

Is there a solicitor acting for the estate that might take over on his behalf?

I would personally try the professional tenant eviction specialists for advice and assistance at a very distressing time. Please see >> https://www.property118.com/evicting-tenants/

trevor white

2 weeks ago

Sorry to learn of your loss.

The s21 notice will be deemed to not have been validly served.
The tenant has not been served a notice as regards posssession.

The only cure for a defect as regards deposit is to return the deposit to the tenant and then serve notice. A late deposit will be to no effect.

The tenant should accept the deposit return as compensation.

S8 notices (fault based) are not caught by deposit issues so you may be able to serve such a notice in the event of arrears etc.

The estate of the landlord can deal with property etc through lawyers etc.

Please note that an application can be made to court for compensation for a breach of deposit rules .
The penalty is 3x deposit plus deposit as a max.

Tread carefully as if s21 is your only route you do not want to end up with a tenant you cannot evict, as you will be prevented from serving a valid notice.
The wife of the landlord signing may not be a major problem as she could be deemed to be an authorised agent acting on behalf of.
It is not a legal requirement that an AST is in writing.
The AST serves to clarify the terms of occupation. If those terms are not in dispute there should not be a problem.

You should seek legal advice.

All the best.

Tim Wragby

2 weeks ago

Tracey
Very sad situation and the tenancy problem will be adding huge stress. Going down the full legal route will be both time & cash consuming. All of Trevor’s advice is good as are his cautionary notes.
In cases such as this the end result required is for the current tenants to move on and if your information is correct & your tenants obtain good legal advice costs will be 4x deposit + legal costs and potentially loss of rent. I would recommend mediation and offering current tenants easy route out. I suggest offering immediate refund of deposit so they have this available for next tenancy + immediate exit from tenancy when they have found somewhere else and refund of any overpaid rent + compensation amount to help moving costs - be seen to be generous and money often talks. If tenants have not yet got wind of a 4x deposit award yet all of the above could still be well inside this amount and still look advantageous.
The tenants understandably don’t want the hassle of moving this close to Christmas but if you try and find a way of being seen to be helping them it is a powerful persuader. Agents will be very keen to find suitable alternatives.
Hopefully this works and tenants move on. Please also get your friends to set up next tenancy properly so that any unforeseen changes later do not revisit this situation again. Employ a good agent to set up the tenancy and given the stress of bereavement I would suggest get them to manage it too in the short term so that it is one less thing to worry about until at least their lives are back to a new normal
Good luck

Thank you so much for your replies, I have a meeting today with the Estate Agent and my friends son, so hopefully we can get the tenants to move soon.

Tim Wragby

A week ago

Tracey
Happy to help. How did your meeting go?

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