Death of a council tenant

What happens after a council tenant dies?

This information relates to what happens when a council tenant, who had no-one living with them, dies.

Ending the tenancy

The tenancy does not end when a tenant dies and the only people who can end it are:

  • An executor - this is someone named in a will as the person who will deal with the deceased possessions
  • An administrator - this is someone who has applied to the Probate Registry and obtained Letters of Administration (sometimes called the Grant of Probate)

A next of kin who is not the executor or administrator cannot end the tenancy.

To end the tenancy a Notice to Quit (Termination Form - doc) must be completed by the executor or administrator.

If there is no Executor or Administrator then we will serve a Notice to Quit on the Public Trustee in order to end the tenancy. This will bring the tenancy to an end four weeks after it is served.

Rent accounts

The executor, administrator or family members are not responsible for rent payment.

However, until the tenancy is formally ended and the keys have been returned a charge will be made on the rent account. We will expect this to be paid along with any arrears from the deceased tenant's estate. Enquiries should be referred direct to the Debt Support team (01757 705101) to determine the weekly rent amount and arrears outstanding.

If the deceased was getting Housing Benefit, payments will stop the Sunday following the date of death, and therefore won't cover the charges between this date and the tenancy ending.

Accessing the property

If the executor, administrator or any other individual already has keys, Selby District Council will not get involved in who can get into the property. However, if no-one has keys to the property, we can only give keys to the person who is the executor or administrator.

Clearing the property

Those dealing with the estate would be expected to clear the property of all furniture and personal belongings before returning the keys. If you want Selby District Council to clear the property we can do this, although there will be a charge.

In order to request the clearance of goods from the property you will need to complete the "Authority to Dispose of Furniture and Effects" (this form forms part of the termination form and can be found in the link in the earlier section "Ending the Tenancy").

All keys must be returned by 12 noon on the date the tenancy ends. If the keys are not returned by this date, a charge will be made for each additional week.

Financial Guidance

The link below directs you to the Citizens Advice Bureau website which provides further information about dealing with the financial affairs of someone who has died:

Financial Advice Guide