Protected tenant dies – Advice Please?

by Readers Question

11:59 AM, 7th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Protected tenant dies – Advice Please?

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Protected tenant dies – Advice Please?

Unfortunately a tenant of mine suddenly died yesterday. Protected tenant dies

He was a protected single tenant living on his own and his rent was paid in full by housing benefits.

I understand the council will cease paying his rent with immediate effect but I would like to give his family time to manage his affairs.

Please could someone advise me what I need to do to get possession of the prooerty and if the assured/protected tenancy will come to an end?

Thank you,

Stephen



Comments

Sally Tattersall

13:13 PM, 7th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Hello Stephen

I bought a property recently from a company who owned it with a protected tenant - after the person became too dependant to live there on their own (they moved to a nursing home where they died) the company put it up for auction almost immediately.

I had no issues at the time with any legalities connected to the protected tenant and I would assume that this sort of tenancy ceases to be on a tenant's death.

Gary Dully

8:01 AM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Stephen,

Don't assume anything, as some tenancies can be bequeathed in a will.

Take legal,advice, as I had to take a dead person to court with an AST.

The tenants sister went nuts, but the judge told her that the tenancy was passed on to his daughter and because she was under 18, she was protected by law and although not living with her father, I had done the right thing, as no will had been made available.

I don't know who was right, but I got possession and the outstanding rent.

Stephen Barham

8:47 AM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "08/02/2016 - 08:01":

Thank you Sally and Gary for your advice 🙂

Chris Byways

10:06 AM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "08/02/2016 - 08:01":

I trust it was ONLY the ashes you had to take to court, Gary. ?
Sorry to be flippant.

But a rare arcane important point, surely a Protected Tenancy can't be bequeathed in perpetuity but probably only to a minor or dependent person of the deceased, living there, and an AST terminated only after the fixed term? (But treated with compassion to the estate, of course.)

Simon Griffith

10:07 AM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Stephen Barham" at "08/02/2016 - 08:47":

Hi Stephen, my family and I have owned a number of protected tenant investment properties over the years. In our experience once the tenant has passed away and you have liaised with the surviving relatives giving them a decent time to clear the property/have the funeral etc then as long as no-one else was residing at the property at the time of the death or in the immediate recent past then you could reasonably assume the tenancy to be at an end and you can do as you please. This has been our approach many times and we have had no issues. If there is another relative that has lived there or still is then the matter is more complicated and you would definitely need legal advice. As Gary says best to get legal advice in every instance for peace of mind.

Stephen Barham

10:18 AM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Simon Griffith" at "08/02/2016 - 10:07":

Thank you Simon, the tenant was living on his own so it appears all is quite simple. The family has been in touch saying they'd like to clear the property and I've given them 3 weeks rent free to do that.
Thank you everyone for your help and, fingers crossed, there'll be no surprises.

Gary Dully

14:02 PM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Well Stephen,

if the family were told later that it was worth £35,000 to you as a buy out cost, they might change their minds. (See Landlordzone)

And I would read up on Shelters web site, because if you don't do it properly it would be classed as an illegal eviction. (lookup protected tenancies)

Its amazing what porkies people tell a court.
'The evil scheming Landlord gave us 3 weeks to move on, he knew that it was worth more and I was given no chance to live there, despite asking to deal with the funeral arrangements first'. My uncle always said he would pass it to my daughter so she could look after him towards the end'of his life' "hang him judge"

Be very, very careful.

Why not get an executor to sign a surrender document?
Then you could attribute any problem to them?

Stephen Barham

14:10 PM, 8th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "08/02/2016 - 14:02":

Hi Gary,

Yes, understood. They actually have a months notice from me with 3 weeks free of rent to try and help them out but, I think you're right.

Cheers,
Stephen

Simon

8:38 AM, 9th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "08/02/2016 - 08:01":

Protected tenancies cannot be "bequeathed" only succeeded and only if the successor resides with and prove occupation. If the tenants' spouse succeeds, it will continue as a protected tenancy under the rent act 1977 however, if the succession passes to a child of the original tenant who is of legal maturity, the tenancy would be an Assured Tenancy (a market rent but with security of tenure) but this cannot be succeeded.

To answer Sally's question, whilst you are being generous with the four week period, it is unnecessary and possession is yours.

Simon

8:40 AM, 9th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Chris Byways" at "08/02/2016 - 10:06":

Protected or Regulated tenancies can be succeeded by spouse or partner and only pass once to offspring but as an Assured and not an Assured Shorthold tenancy.


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