Ending a tenancy when someone's died

In the difficult days after a loved one has died, we hope the following information gives you all the information you need related to their tenancy.

The first thing you’ll need to do is end their tenancy on their behalf – this will prevent arrears building up against their estate.

1. Four weeks’ notice

You’ll need to write to us to let us know that you’d like to end their tenancy. Get in touch for a form then deliver it to your local office with a copy of the death certificate – unfortunately, we can’t accept email notices. We need four weeks’ notice, so the tenancy will end four weeks from the first Monday after we receive these details. This will give you time to clear and clean the property before you hand back the keys.

2. Make sure the rent is up to date

We’ll keep charging the weekly rent during the four week notice period. Any arrears or money owed will need to be cleared before the tenancy ends. If any charges remain outstanding, they’ll be charged to the estate.

 3. Inform Housing Benefit

If all or part of the rent is paid by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, please get in touch with the local authority or the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to let them know.

 4. Property inspection

During the notice period, we’ll make an appointment to come and inspect the condition of the home. We’ll then advise you of any work you may need to do to avoid the estate incurring costs for repairs.

 5. Clean and clear the property

Please hand back the property in a clean and tidy condition. This includes clearing any sheds, lofts or garages, as well as cutting the grass. If any belongings are left behind without our agreement, we’ll have them removed. We’ll then have to recharge the estate for any cleaning or clearing that needs to be done at the property once the tenancy has ended.

 6. Returning the keys

Please make sure all the doors and windows are locked when you leave the property. And then return all keys by 10am on the Monday after the tenancy ends. This includes door keys, communal keys, fobs, shed keys, garage keys and parking permits. Pease bear in mind that we’ll continue to charge rent to the estate until these items are returned. There may also be additional charges if the keys are not returned.

 7. Repairs and alterations

If alterations or repairs have been made to the property without our permission – and they haven’t been carried out to a high enough standard – we may have to charge the estate the costs to put them right. If you’re unsure about any of the repairs or alterations that have been made, please contact us to check, or discuss it with us at the property inspection.

8. Care alarm systems

If there’s a care alarm system in the property, please let Sovereign Careline know that the tenancy is ending and arrange to send the equipment back to them.

 9. Return any disabled aids

If there are any disabled aids in the property, including a walking frame, bath aids, or a wheelchair, please arrange for them to be sent back to the provider. You’ll usually find a sticker with the telephone number and a reference on each item.

 10. Gas and electric

Please leave the gas and electric cards or keys in the meters as they won’t work anywhere else. You should also make sure you don’t leave any money owed on the meters.