When a tenant dies, the tenancy agreement between them and their landlord does not necessarily come to an end. The tenancy agreement will continue to be in force until it is terminated by either the landlord or the tenant`s estate. However, there are certain legal and practical considerations that both parties need to be aware of.
Here are some important things to keep in mind if someone dies during a tenancy:
1. Notify the landlord or agent: It is important to inform the landlord or their agent as soon as possible of the tenant`s death. This will allow the landlord to take necessary action, such as securing the property.
2. Determine who is responsible for the rent: If the deceased tenant was the only person named on the tenancy agreement, the responsibility for paying rent will fall on their estate. If there are other tenants named on the agreement, they will be responsible for paying their share of the rent.
3. Check the terms of the tenancy agreement: The tenancy agreement may contain specific provisions related to death, such as a clause that allows the landlord to terminate the agreement upon the death of the tenant.
4. Seek legal advice: If you are unsure about your rights and obligations under the tenancy agreement, it is wise to seek legal advice. A solicitor or housing specialist can help you understand your legal position and advise you on the best course of action.
5. Decide whether to terminate the tenancy: If the deceased tenant was the sole tenant and their estate is unable to continue paying rent, the landlord may choose to terminate the tenancy. Alternatively, if the remaining tenants are unable to continue paying rent, they may also choose to terminate the tenancy.
6. Give notice: If either party decides to terminate the tenancy, notice must be given in accordance with the terms of the agreement. The notice period will vary depending on the type of tenancy and the terms of the agreement.
7. Deal with the tenant`s belongings: The tenant`s belongings will need to be dealt with in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement. If the tenant has left behind any possessions, the landlord should take steps to secure them and inform the tenant`s executor or next of kin.
8. Consider the impact on any guarantors: If the deceased tenant had a guarantor on the tenancy agreement, the guarantor may still be liable for any outstanding rent or damage caused to the property.
9. Notify utility companies: The landlord or executor of the tenant`s estate should notify utility companies of the tenant`s death and arrange for final meter readings to be taken.
10. Seek support: Dealing with the death of a tenant can be a stressful and emotional experience. Landlords and tenants may wish to seek support from professional advisors or counseling services to help them navigate this difficult time.
In conclusion, when a tenant dies during a tenancy, both the landlord and the tenant`s estate will need to navigate a number of legal and practical issues. By following these tenancy agreement considerations, you can ensure that the process is handled in a fair and efficient manner for all parties involved.