Ending a tenancy due to death

A man and a woman prepare to move

Coping with the death of a partner, friend or relative is never easy, and trying to deal with their affairs can be complicated and upsetting.

At Eastlight we want to support you as much as we can and the following guidance should help you through this difficult time by explaining what you need to do when a resident of one of our properties dies. If there is anything you are unsure of, please contact us on 0330 128 0330  

Who should I inform?

You should tell us about the death of a tenant by completing this form as soon as possible.

We are happy to help and require the following, in the first instance:

  • a copy of the death certificate
  • confirmation and proof of the executor of the will, or letter of administration.
What is a letter of administration?

A letter of administration provides evidence that you have legal responsibility to manage the estate if there is no will or executor. The Government’s website has guidance and advice on applying to become an administrator, click here: https://www.gov.uk/probate-estate

What if I live with the person who has passed away?

If you are a joint tenant or cohabitee, you may have survivorship (succession) rights. However, Eastlight will need to discuss the detail with you as our customers will have different terms and conditions depending on the type of tenancy they hold with us. This is not something to worry or be concerned about and we will support you through this process.

What about the rent?

Where a tenant dies, it is still necessary to bring the tenancy to an end. To do this a copy of the death certificate and four weeks’ notice is normally required.

It is important to note that rent will continue to be payable until the keys are returned. If the tenant was receiving Housing Benefit, this will automatically be cancelled following their death, so please inform the relevant local authority as soon as possible.

If there is an outstanding balance on the rent account after the keys have been returned, we will seek to recover this from the estate. It will therefore be helpful if we are informed of who is dealing with the tenant’s affairs.

What should I do before the tenancy ends?

We politely request that the property be handed back completely empty of furniture, carpets, curtains, and refuse. Our staff will be in contact to discuss this in more detail following you advising us of the death.

Any items in the loft or garden, including a greenhouse or the tenant’s own shed, should be removed. If there are any articles left in the property or garden we may seek to charge for the removal against the deceased’s estate.

Who else do I need to contact?

As well as informing people who were close to the deceased, such as relatives and friends, and the deceased's employer (if relevant) in many cases you'll need to close down accounts, or cancel or change insurance details, subscriptions, agreements, payments or direct debits.

Here's a list to help you keep track of who you may need to inform.

Government organisations:

  • The relevant Tax Office
  • National Insurance Contributions Office if they were self-employed (to cancel payments)
  • Child Benefit Office (at latest within eight weeks)
  • Local council if they paid rates, had a parking permit, were issued with a Blue Badge for disabled parking, or received social services help, attended day care or similar
  • UK Identity and Passport Service, to return and cancel a passport
  • DVLA, to return any driving licence, cancel car tax or return car registration documents/change ownership

Financial organisations:

  • General insurance companies - for example, contents, car, travel or medical
  • Benefit agencies if the deceased was in receipt of any financial aid
  • Any other company with which the deceased may have had rental, hire purchase or loan agreements
  • If the deceased was the first name on an insurance policy, make contact as early as possible to check that you are still insured
  • Pension providers/life insurance companies
  • Banks and building societies
  • Hire purchase or loan companies
  • Credit card providers/store cards

Utilities and household contacts:

  • Any private organisation/agency providing home help
  • Utility companies if accounts were in the deceased's name
  • Royal Mail, if mail needs re-directing
  • TV/internet companies with which the deceased had subscriptions

Notify us of the death of a tenant

You can inform us by completing this form.

Thank you. We are here for you and will do all we can to support you.

Ending Your Tenancy

Please fill in this form to tell us you wish to end your tenancy.

If it is due to the death of a tenant, please include the date of death and upload the death certificate
Please upload the death certificate here, where relevant. PDF, PNG and JPG are supported filetypes. WE'RE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING IT ISSUES - WE'LL BE IN TOUCH TO ASK FOR THE CERTIFICATE.