Death of a council tenant

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

Ending the tenancy

The tenancy does not end when a tenant passes away 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 named executor or administrator cannot end the tenancy.

On all occasions, we will need to be provided  with:

  •  A copy of the death certificate;
  • A copy of the Will showing the named executor;
  • A signed Notice to Quit (Termination Form - 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, and a letter will be issued confirming the details.

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.

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.

In some circumstances, items such as flooring, carpets, curtains are able to be left in the property. However, this will need agreed by the relevant Neighbourhood Officer and property services during a pre-termination visit. Should you wish to arrange a pre-termination visit, please contact us on 01757 705101.

However, 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 Disposal of Goods form (Dispose of goods doc) this can also be found on the back page of the termination form.

Any items left without prior agreement will be subject to recharges for the costs of disposal.

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 website which provides further information about dealing with the financial affairs of someone who has died:

Financial Advice Guide