My tenant has unfortunately passed away in hospital?

by Readers Question

13:38 PM, 20th April 2020
About 5 months ago

My tenant has unfortunately passed away in hospital?

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My tenant has unfortunately passed away in hospital?

My tenant unfortunately passed away in March after she was hospitalised in February. Obviously things are difficult and  I haven’t received any rent for February to date.

I am currently still awaiting for her daughter to hand back the keys to the house. She was receiving housing benefit directly from DSS.

My agent had written to her daughter in March to ask for rent and she confirmed she was still waiting for probate.

What should I do next in this unfortunate situation?

Many thanks

Pradip



Comments

John Mac

10:18 AM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

A Tenancy doesn't end with the death of a Tenant, it passes to the Estate. You need the execs of the estate to formally end the Tenancy by giving notice in the usual way. The Estate is liable for Any arrears. Obviously its a delicate time & you need to work with the relatives, but there are still formalities to go through.

Find out who the execs are & work with them so you can get your Property back ready to Let again.

Lindsay Keith

10:51 AM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Ask the daughter if solicitors are handling the estate and register your rent claim with them as a debt against the estate. It ought to be paid with the other miscellaneous debts on settlement of the estate.

JB

11:35 AM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Lindsay Keith at 21/04/2020 - 10:51
Don't wait for probate it can take a long, long time.

Penny DJ

14:21 PM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

If the estate is in probate, then this can take months/years to resolve. If the tenant was on benefits then I would be inclined to contact the council in addition to the daughter, as I suspect that the estate will not be of a great value and the council has likely dealt with this before and can advise you better. It is not worth delaying the rental bill for two or three months until payment.

BB

15:37 PM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

I had this happen in a property of mine in Bournemouth. I read up on various outcomes and scenarios, gave the most favorable one to myself, to my LA to present to the deceased's family.
Sadly they weren't too bothered at the time, didn't even come down from Londin to collect their relatives body, arrange the funeral or such like. The former tenant had many friends who helped out considerably, cleared their friends belongings from the flat and made it very clean. So I could re market it ASAP.
Soon had a new tenant move in, well within the 6 weeks rent that the deposit covered. A few months later some family member came enquring as to the deposit. My LA present them with the various articles, links and references to the law, plus bills for the unpaid rent, C/tax and other utilities.
It's been 12-14 months never heard a word from them again.

Beaver

16:02 PM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 21/04/2020 - 10:18
Surely if the Estate fails to pay the rent then the tenancy will end automatically will it not?

I think in the first instance I would be inclined to offer the family my sincere condolences for their loss and ask them for a copy of the death certificate.

MP123

23:40 PM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Pradip, this is a horrible situation very sad. But if you wait for probate it will be October before you know it. I suggest that you send the daughter a very polite letter explaining that whilst she has your condolences you cannot financially manage without the rent any longer so she needs to clear the flat in 14 days and return the keys or you will be doing so and placing her daughter’s belongings in storage for a month so that you can re-let the flat. Most likely the daughter is delaying going through her mother’s possessions and wants to put off doing so for as long as possible because she is grieving but unfortunately you can no longer afford to wait for the rent so you need the flat empty and the daughter can go through her mother’s belongings in storage if you rent a large unit for a month so she has plenty of space to move around it.

Beaver

9:22 AM, 22nd April 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by MP123 at 21/04/2020 - 23:40
It's good advice but I'd offer my condolences and ask for a copy of the death certificate first just in case things go wrong. If the relatives are bereaved they may be emotional and not thinking straight so coming over as heavy-handed in the first instance could easily backfire.

John Mac

9:35 AM, 22nd April 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 21/04/2020 - 16:02
No it has to be ended like under normal circumstances, either by the Tenant ( execs of the estate in this instant) or by a Court Order.

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