Returns of deposit and rent in arrears for deceased tenant

by Readers Question

10:43 AM, 19th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Returns of deposit and rent in arrears for deceased tenant

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Returns of deposit and rent in arrears for deceased tenant

I would like some advice on my deceased tenant. My tenant passed away few weeks ago and I want to return the Deposit and Outstanding Rent to the family member. lillies

Could somebody please advise me as how I need to go about it safely and legally.

Many thanks

Shailesh



Comments

Chris Clare

13:57 PM, 19th February 2016
About 3 years ago

You need to proceed with extreme caution.

I understand your intentions are correct but to just give the money to a family member is not the right course of action.

The money belongs to the estate of the deceased and can and will be used to settle any other outstanding debts and liabilities.

If you pay a relative the estate can still come to you for the money as it is due to them and them only.

You need to find out who is dealing with the deceased's affairs and then you will be able to make payment out to the estate in that way.

Charles King - Barrister-At-Law

14:03 PM, 19th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Chris is right Shailesh - proceed with caution. I have encountered serious problems with a deposit scheme accepting that a tenant has died. The situation led to great distress with the deceased tenant's family when the scheme wouldn't release the money. You need to speak to the deposit scheme directly to discover their procedures for releasing the deposit in such circumstances, and in all likelihood will need to send them a copy of the death certificate. That is assuming the deposit was protected. If it was not there are no obstacles at all to the return of the deposit, subject to the theoretical right of the deceased's estate suing you for the non-protection penalty, which must be extremely unlikely. Hope this helps. You will find wise advice on this site.

Adrian Jones

14:05 PM, 19th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Chris Clare" at "19/02/2016 - 13:57":

Spot on Chris. I had this situation last year and asked for details of the solicitor which the family happily provided.

Needless to say it has to be dealt with very tactfully at a distressing time for the family.

Ian Narbeth

14:07 PM, 19th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Chris is right and you ought to wait until they have obtained probate/letters of administration so that you know that you are dealing with the right person(s).

christine walker

14:08 PM, 19th February 2016
About 3 years ago

If the tenancy agreement is still in the fixed term then the deceased's estate (executors) is still liable to pay the rent until the fixed term finishes and has to give one months notice as normal.If the tenancy was a statutory periodic tenancy ,ie: runs from month to month ,then the executors give you one months notice on the correct date and once the house has been cleared and inspected for damage you can then return the deposit or dispute the amount to be returned if necessary.Did you protect the deposit properly?


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