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    • BaileySJ
    • By BaileySJ 12th Sep 17, 11:12 AM
    • 15Posts
    • 43Thanks
    BaileySJ
    Tenant Sadly Deceased
    • #1
    • 12th Sep 17, 11:12 AM
    Tenant Sadly Deceased 12th Sep 17 at 11:12 AM
    Good morning,

    I have been a Landlord for a number of years without any hassle (just the usual ad-hoc maintenance and Gas/Electricity checks).

    Very sadly over the weekend the tenant died in the property, unfortunately the police had to gain access by smashing the front door (frame and door destroyed). They died from natural causes and there are no additional issues / investigations (apart from the usual police reports etc).

    I am going to speak with Direct Line this morning - does anyone have any experience of making a claim for damage to the door in this situation? Also, the tenant was on Housing Benefit - will the property clearance ultimately be my responsibility, the authority or next of kin?

    The deposit is quite small and would not cover the work - plus, there will be some probate procedures to go through (as she has a daughter) and to be honest I don't want to start talking money with them as this is distressing enough for them.

    Any advice or things I should be doing would be greatly appreciated - It is let through an agency and I they *seem* to be on top of things.

    Many thanks
Page 2
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 12th Sep 17, 1:29 PM
    • 791 Posts
    • 894 Thanks
    ThePants999
    http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2014/05/21/what-happens-to-a-tenancy-when-the-tenant-dies/

    You should serve a section 21.
    • Twopints
    • By Twopints 12th Sep 17, 1:41 PM
    • 1,393 Posts
    • 1,882 Thanks
    Twopints
    OR and here's a little tip, the LL is a commercial provider (no different to Sainsbury's) and therefore is expected to accommodate business expenses.


    You are making it personal, the rest of us as simply viewing this as a commercial interest.
    Originally posted by Guest101
    Well, Crashy seems to be making it personal:

    I take it you didn`t know the tenant well, as money seems to be your main concern here?
    Not even wrong
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 12th Sep 17, 1:46 PM
    • 29,775 Posts
    • 17,803 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Well, Crashy seems to be making it personal:
    Originally posted by Twopints
    It's going to be them one day, died renting.

    perhaps he should by his final resting place now, or perhaps he will leave enough to rent somewhere.
    • BaileySJ
    • By BaileySJ 12th Sep 17, 2:03 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    BaileySJ
    Such odd replies to this thread.

    To an extent this is personal - someone has died in my property and and a family has lost a relative, which is a sad situation. I feel that I have a duty in this matter to show some compassion and not start hassling people for what they legally owe or have to do.

    I was asking for advice, I have no intention of contacting the relatives. I was merely trying to ascertain what I should be doing and who usually handles stuff (like clearing out furniture etc) - and more importantly, whether I could use insurance that I pay for to cover the damage - which is not the case.

    For what it's worth (and not that it really matters) I purchased the flat and rent myself (as I cannot afford to buy near to where I work) - it barely breaks even year on year and with expenses runs at a loss - it just feels better to have something to offset constantly paying rent.

    I have always tried to be a kind and compassionate landlord - I authorise repairs immediately and even personally paid for the tenant to have the doctors verify her identity as she didn't have a passport.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Sep 17, 2:13 PM
    • 41,070 Posts
    • 47,188 Thanks
    G_M
    ....

    I was asking for advice, I have no intention of contacting the relatives. I was merely trying to ascertain what I should be doing and who usually handles stuff ......
    Originally posted by BaileySJ
    Sorry. I must take issue. You cannot ignore tthe relatives and must contact them.

    Of course, how and when is up to you.

    But you must at some point give them access, arrange to end the tenancy, let them clear the property etc.

    Whether the legalities (which must be followed at some point) of ending the tenancy should be done with them, or someone else, depends who the Executer/Administrator is.

    So you have to estabish that somehow. Probably by conacting the relatives (if you know who they are).

    This is nothing to do with being unsympathetic, or money-grabbing, as some have sugggested. Whilst yes, it's a sad situation, life must go on and certain formalities completed.

    Just as funeral directors, crematoria, the Register Office ec have to be dealt with by the relatives.
    Last edited by G_M; 12-09-2017 at 2:17 PM.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 12th Sep 17, 2:21 PM
    • 15,147 Posts
    • 14,752 Thanks
    Guest101
    Such odd replies to this thread.

    To an extent this is personal - someone has died in my property and and a family has lost a relative, which is a sad situation. I feel that I have a duty in this matter to show some compassion and not start hassling people for what they legally owe or have to do.

    I was asking for advice, I have no intention of contacting the relatives. I was merely trying to ascertain what I should be doing and who usually handles stuff (like clearing out furniture etc) - and more importantly, whether I could use insurance that I pay for to cover the damage - which is not the case.

    For what it's worth (and not that it really matters) I purchased the flat and rent myself (as I cannot afford to buy near to where I work) - it barely breaks even year on year and with expenses runs at a loss - it just feels better to have something to offset constantly paying rent. - that is down to you though. You have chosen this and frankly it doesn't matter whether you make a profit or a loss, you are a business for all intents and purposes.

    I have always tried to be a kind and compassionate landlord - I authorise repairs immediately and even personally paid for the tenant to have the doctors verify her identity as she didn't have a passport.
    Originally posted by BaileySJ
    Nor does she need one? If it's right to rent checks, there is a list of stuff.


    Anything else is up to you, you don't HAVE to verify identity beyond the right to rent check.
    • BaileySJ
    • By BaileySJ 12th Sep 17, 2:23 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    BaileySJ
    Apologies for the wording - the letting agent is in contact with the police to do the necessary communication, I had meant I am not intending to contact them asking for money.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 12th Sep 17, 2:26 PM
    • 29,775 Posts
    • 17,803 Thanks
    getmore4less
    If the estate is insolvent the advice is usually to get personal possessions and valuables from the residence for save keeping and walk away play no further part in any finances.

    They can even leave a funeral to the state(council).

    This can leave a landlord in limbo with no one to deal with.

    It will be quite important to establish any plans relatives/executors have early, as you will need to fit a new door or secure quickly this will be the opportunity to discuss access.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 12th Sep 17, 4:49 PM
    • 5,867 Posts
    • 7,618 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    The money can be sorted later, the immediate issue relating to the tenancy is what happens to the house. Talk to the daughter / executor re

    1) when they can clear the house and access arrangements

    2) termination date.. serve notice or even better, agree a mutual termination with the executor so the estate stops being liable for rent and you can re rent the property without waiting for 1-2 months for notice to expire.

    3) The estate is liable for the full rent until termination and any damages / cleaning costs. You have to return the deposit less these deductions to the estate.
    Originally posted by saajan_12
    This is correct - I would suggest contacting the executors and suggesting that they arrange to clear the property and that you confirm that you are happy to agree a mutual termination to end the tenancy so that the estate is not liable for any further rent. I think that you an do this in a business-like but sympathetic way - even if you simply acknowledge in your letter that you realise that it is a difficult time for them and apologise for having to ask them to deal with business, and stress that you are proposing the mutual termination so that the estate incurs as few further costs as possible, hopefully they will see that you are not being unpleasant.


    In terms of the door, unless your insurance covers it I don't think you have any other options. I think the police would only pay out if they break down the door of the wrong house because they have mis-read a warrant, or something of that kind.
    • Crashy Time
    • By Crashy Time 12th Sep 17, 5:06 PM
    • 4,790 Posts
    • 2,104 Thanks
    Crashy Time
    I did not know the tenant at all - I am however, aware that she is not well off at all hence why I don't mind payment coming from the deposit (which was put up by the local authority) but have no interest in pursuing her estate. I was hoping the insurance might have been an option.

    I can assure you money is not the important thing here, but there is also a limit to what I am able to cover.
    Originally posted by BaileySJ

    If you have been taking HB payments for any length of time you should be able to cover a new front door surely, it can`t be much more than a months HB payment? What would you have done in a case where the tenant smashed up the flat and left without paying rent?
    • Crashy Time
    • By Crashy Time 12th Sep 17, 5:10 PM
    • 4,790 Posts
    • 2,104 Thanks
    Crashy Time
    It's going to be them one day, died renting.

    perhaps he should by his final resting place now, or perhaps he will leave enough to rent somewhere.
    Originally posted by getmore4less

    I suppose dying the day after you signed up to a 600k mortgage on a London shoebox would be better, or after trying to find a buyer for three years maybe, or after realising that no, the house isn`t actually going to pay for your retirement...
    • mark5
    • By mark5 12th Sep 17, 7:14 PM
    • 1,186 Posts
    • 801 Thanks
    mark5
    What would a local authority or housing association do in in this scenario?, I would do exactly the same if I were the OP.

    If the tenant owned the house with a mortgage, the mortgage company would still expect payment, why should the op be any different, he's running a business not a charity.
    • diggingdude
    • By diggingdude 12th Sep 17, 7:39 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    diggingdude
    Really don't get the hostility to the landlord here. Doesn't seem a bad sort
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 12th Sep 17, 8:08 PM
    • 1,324 Posts
    • 1,726 Thanks
    shortcrust
    What a horrid site this must seem to new members like the OP. I'm embarrassed by some of the responses.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 12th Sep 17, 8:14 PM
    • 5,783 Posts
    • 5,532 Thanks
    davidmcn
    If the tenant owned the house with a mortgage, the mortgage company would still expect payment, why should the op be any different, he's running a business not a charity.
    Originally posted by mark5
    Not sure that's really comparable, but anyway in practice lenders will tolerate monthly payments drying up for a while until the executors sort out probate and (possibly) marketing the property, as they know the loan will be redeemed reasonably soon. And if it isn't, they'd still need to go through the usual repossession procedures before they could evict, not just march in and clear out the deceased's stuff.
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 12th Sep 17, 8:47 PM
    • 978 Posts
    • 679 Thanks
    rtho782
    £750+VAT for a front door, is £900, which is what we paid for a high end composite door.

    If you're paying that for a standard UPVC job, you're being ripped off.

    But, if insurance won't cover you, nobody else will.
    Deposit Saved since 01/12/15: £13,000 / £15,000 House Bought!

    Debt Cleared since 01/12/15: £6,000 / £7,500
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 12th Sep 17, 9:35 PM
    • 29,775 Posts
    • 17,803 Thanks
    getmore4less
    What would a local authority or housing association do in in this scenario?, I would do exactly the same if I were the OP
    Originally posted by mark5
    There are a few post on the probate board about councils hounding the relatives to pay the rent and get the stuff out in a week.
    • BaileySJ
    • By BaileySJ 12th Sep 17, 9:59 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    BaileySJ
    If you have been taking HB payments for any length of time you should be able to cover a new front door surely, it can`t be much more than a months HB payment? What would you have done in a case where the tenant smashed up the flat and left without paying rent?
    Originally posted by Crashy Time
    The HB payments (after 10% agency fee deduction) is £324 pcm. The mortgage is £339 per month - so a £900 door is significant. Luckily I have personal savings I can use, but is a cost I could really do without at the moment.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Sep 17, 10:03 PM
    • 15,066 Posts
    • 13,382 Thanks
    AdrianC
    The HB payments (after 10% agency fee deduction) is £324 pcm. The mortgage is £339 per month - so a £900 door is significant. Luckily I have personal savings I can use, but is a cost I could really do without at the moment.
    Originally posted by BaileySJ
    So that's £15/mo top-line loss, before any costs.

    I have to say that it doesn't seem like the most sensible of business plans you have...
    • 45002
    • By 45002 12th Sep 17, 10:31 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 322 Thanks
    45002
    Changes in circumstances
    The HB payments (after 10% agency fee deduction) is £324 pcm. The mortgage is £339 per month - so a £900 door is significant. Luckily I have personal savings I can use, but is a cost I could really do without at the moment.
    by BaileySJ
    Hope you don't mind me asking have you or EA informed the housing benefit dept that the tenant has passed away, If not you need to ..
    MSE is supposed to be about saving people money, Yet when you place a url in your signature to a mobile phone provider, one of the cheapest and best run in the UK.

    What does MSE do delete the url to the mobile phone provider, they don't want you to save money !
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