15:58 PM, 16th April 2012, About 10 years ago 20
Today I received a very sad telephone call to say that my tenant has died.
Having been a landlord since 1989 and built a decent sized property portfolio you might be surprised to hear that this is a first for me. You may also be a bit shocked that I really don’t know what to do.
Dave* has been a tenant of mine since 2007, he was a lovely old boy. He was referred to me via one of my existing sale and rent back tenants when he desperately needed to raise some money. I purchased his house from him at a substantial discount and agreed to rent it back to him cheap for the rest of his life. There were lots of charlatans around at the time offering the same deals with no intention of honouring them but fortunately for Dave and I we did the deal on the back of good reputations and it worked well for both of us. I’ve never increased his rent and he’s never bothered me.
When I purchased the property it was very tired. I offered to get it modernised but he really wasn’t interested. It was his home and he liked it just the way it was and wanted to keep his rent to an absolute minimum as he’d had to give up work on the grounds of ill heath bless him. The last thing he wanted was workmen in his home and I fully respected that. I’ve not increased his rent since the day I purchased the property, he’s never missed a payment and apart from contacting him once a year to make sure everything is OK and to arrange the annual gas check I’ve never heard from Dave so today’s call from his son John was quite a shock. He didn’t say how his Dad had died and I didn’t ask.
His son called me a few hours ago to let me know that his Dad had died last Tuesday and that he’s in the process of clearing the house. He’d never had to deal with anything like this before so didn’t really know what else he needed to do. Trouble is, neither do I. We’ve agreed to speak again at the weekend so that I can have a bit of time to check with my landlord contacts what I need to do. He will let me know when the funeral is and I will obviously send flowers. I was able to assure him that his Dad was up to date on the rent and that I will do everything realistically possible that I can do to help him.
It’s at time like this that I’m so glad that I’m a member of a Landlords Association and that so many other experienced landlords read my blogs. If you have any advice to offer me please leave your comments below.
I will update this blog as matters progress. I know the property will require a complete refurbishment before re-letting so once it has been cleared I will record a video and post it here and on my YouTube Channel “Landlords Log”.
Thanks in advance for any useful tips you can share.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.
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