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How do I end someone else’s tenancy?

Ending someone else’s tenancy with WDH following bereavement


When someone dies, it is a very emotional time and can be very difficult to come to terms with.

Unfortunately, there are always formalities to carry out. The following information will hopefully give you some practical help and support in making the arrangements you need to end their tenancy.

If the family member or friend was our tenant, please contact us.  We will ask you if there is a Personal Representative as part of his or her estate. A Personal Representative is either the executors of the late tenants will, or administrators appointed by the courts when a tenant dies intestate (without having made a will). 

In most cases, we will accept a ‘third-party notice’ from the next of kin, however there may be instances when we will only accept the third part notice from a designated Personal Representative to end the tenancy. Where this is the case, we will advise you of this as soon as possible.  The tenancy will continue until the four weeks’ notice period ends.

 We will need to know:

  • details of the tenant's next of kin or Personal Representative;
  • your address or the address of the Personal Representative who is dealing with the tenant's affairs (if not you); and
  • you will need to tell us which Monday you expect to hand the keys in by. This is the date you will have cleared the property of all furniture and belongings and can return the keys to a Service Access Point or Hub. 
  • We will also need to see a copy of the death certificate.

You should return the keys and any door entry fobs for all premises as soon as possible, but no later than 12 noon on the Monday the tenancy ends.  After this time the deceased tenant’s estate will be charged.  If there are any items left in the property, we may charge to dispose of them.

If the tenant was receiving Housing Benefit, you will need to contact your local authority Housing Benefits office. The regulations say that benefit will end on the Monday following the date of death, but the rent will be due until the end of the notice period.  If there are arrears on the rent account after you have handed the keys in, we will look to recover the outstanding balance from the estate of the person who has died.

If you are stating the tenant had no estate, but was not in receipt of Universal Credit, Job Seeker’s Allowance or Pension Credit, WDH will need to see the most recent bank / post office statement to confirm this.

You should also tell your local authority about changes to their Council Tax payments, arrange to have all the meters read and let the Post Office know to redirect any post.

Sometimes it is possible for the tenancy to be passed on to another member of the tenant's household - this is known as succession.

If you need further information about succession or what to do if a tenant dies, please read our factsheet WDH Succession or phone OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507.

In some cases, where the tenant dies and there is no will, executor or Personal Representative, we may have to end the tenancy by issuing a Notice to the Public Trustee. The tenancy can only be ended once the notice period has ended.

Ending a Tenancy where the tenant is without mental capacity

There will be times when someone acting for a tenant or the tenant themselves indicates that they wish to end a tenancy but does not have the mental capacity to do so.

Only the tenant or someone acting on behalf of the tenant with the legal authority can end a tenancy. This includes:

  • a person with a Lasting Power of Attorney (Property and Financial affairs) registered with the Office of the Public Guardian; or
  • a Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection.

 Regrettably, WDH is unable to end a tenancy if there is no person with the above authority.

In these circumstances, it is the responsibility of the tenant’s personal representative or next of kin to apply to the Court of Protection to end the person’s tenancy. Further information can be obtained from Gov.UK. Once the necessary authority has been obtained the tenancy can be ended by completing a third-party notice.

Where there is no next of kin or personal representative, Wakefield Council’s Court of Protection team may be able to assist.




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