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My Dad has passed away, can i take on his tenancy?

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651 views 1 replies latest reply: 26 September 2015

Hello all

There are a few things i would like to know about and would be greatful for advice. Here is a little background, My Dad was terminally ill when moving in his flat Feb 14. Due to a bad landlord at his previous flat my Dad wanted a speedy move so paid 6 months rent upfront for this flat which took him to the end of the 6 months agreement. My Dad very sadly passed away 3rd September 2015 aged 58. I tried to contact the landlady the following day an left messages for her to contact myself or my husband. then a week later whilst at my Dads flat a gentleman who claims to work with the landlady came to the flat an took information to pass on to the landlady (who was recovering from illness in hospital). I called to the flat again on 23rd September 2015 to collect some things (we still have lots of things to go through and arrange in there) to find a to let sign on the front. Shocking really it hadn’t been 3 weeks since my Dad passed and was slightly upset by this as still had no contact from landlady. I took myself to the estate agents to inform them of the situation an that no contact has been made. They told me no keys were held to the property but that it was advertised as ready begining of October 2105. They also said the landlady had been in to see them on 22nd september 2015 to put the property up for let and in there words told me “she has to give you at least 1 months notice”.

My questions,

Can i take the tenancy over? I am an executor of the will along with my sister and brother.

The landlady put his rent up from £450 to £500 a month as soon as the 6 month tenancy had ran out and also as my Dad had requested double glazed windows to be put in the front of the flat due to heat loss, damp, condensation an noise from the busy road he lived. By the emails i have seen this was agreed by my Dad. Is this legal?

I have still not had any contact from the landlady it’s 25th September 2015, about notice period, emptying the flat or handing the keys over. Does she have to contact me or my siblings?

Rent was always paid on time an was paid yesterday 24th September 2015. He paid in advance so am I right in thinking the flat is still in our hands until 23rd October 2015?

Sorry for the repeated dating, I thought it might help people understand and to have all time frames to answer the best they can.

Thank you for taking the time to read


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Hi Claire

I’m sorry to hear about your dad, this must be a difficult time for you.

There is some very useful information in this blog about what happens when a tenant dies.

I’m not a lawyer but as far as I can see you don’t have a right to continue the tenancy on an ongoing basis as it’s not in the fixed term – the landlord can end it if she chooses to. However, she must actually end it with the proper notice – it doesn’t simply come to an end when someone dies. If the rent is paid and no notice has been given then yes there is still a right to occupy. This also means that if the landlord wants to enter the property she still needs to comply with the legal requirement to give 24 hours notice and obtain consent.

I doubt the agreement about the windows will be binding as it’s not in a legal document.

If you want to take over the tenancy in your personal capacity then you could do so with the landlord’s agreement.

It may be that the landlady has just assumed that you no longer want the tenancy – or she doesn’t really understand how to deal with this situation – but it’s unhelpful not to reply to emails. It’s probably worth pointing out to her that until she properly ends this tenancy she can’t install a new tenant in there so it’s worth her while to respond to you.

When the tenancy is coming to an end remember to make sure you do an inventory before the keys are handed back so you have a record of the state the property is in. You’ll then need to go through the process of retrieving the deposit, which should be held with one of three tenancy deposit protection schemes.

Hope that helps.


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