Death of 1 of 2 tenants

Sadly one of my 2 lovely tenants has passed away suddenly. The other tenant wants to remain. Do I cancel the original tenancy and issue a new one or leave it as it is and let him continue until he he decides to move to a smaller property or finds someone to share with who can pass referencing. Colin as a well experienced landlord your input on this would be gratefully accepted.

You might as well leave it as it is. The other joint tenant will now have effectively inherited the tenancy anyway.

If this was me I would do everything again. You have a deposit in a person’s name who is now deceased. If your deposit is custodial that would be problematic as it forms part of the deceased’s estate.
I would serve all documents again, new AST and take legal advice ref deposit

Thank you for your response. I don’t want to do anything immediately as the other tenant who was a close friend is grieving although I do need to address the deposit. I am loathe to ask him to find the difference. The young man who died is the one who has been in the news. A true hero. I am gutted for his friend and family.

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I am so sorry
Whilst you are waiting I would take formal legal advice

christine 2 I just recently had a tenant who I found collapsed in the flat ,he died a few days later a friend and a tenant for 22 years … I would talk to the remaining tenant ,they may well want to move out. If they want to stay can they afford to? As David says they can stay on legally, They may want to get a flatmate, Either way if you both are agreeable simply write out another tenancy. Who paid the deposit? both or one person ? That will tell you whether to return it to one or both (estate and survivor). Maybe start again so all is above board


Thank you Colin. That seems to be the way to go. Dylan does want to stay and I have halved the rent while he sorts himself out and manages to get his head together. He wanted to put his brother on who is on benefits. That usually means he will not pass referencing which is required for the insurance agreement I have. I have suggested we could put the tenancy in his name only and perhaps have his brother as a lodger but has no claim to remain should he want to move at some point. I am letting it lie for a while till he is in full control of what he feels is best for him. Then I will need to sort it out as the deposit needs sorting out.
Thank you for your good advice Colin as always.

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Christine re your last message I would recommend you tread very carefully with your suggested solution. Personally I would not do it!

Hi Brian can you say why. I thought it was better than being added to the tenancy. I am trying to help the young man stay there. He really is a nice young man as was Alex. I have taken a step back while things settle. I don’t think I can stop him taking a lodger anyway if he wishes.

Hi Christine, you can decide on whether they are allowed to sub let, take lodgers etc or just have someone not on the AST.

There is a law, I cannot remember the exact name but in simple terms you can take the AST signatories to court to evict but the other adult who has not signed the AST could legally stay and you would need a second eviction notice and all the costs / lost rent again that goes with that to evict them. So legally I wouldn’t recommend it.

It’s one thing having a big heart and being considerate and another digging a hole for yourself.

Also if you have reduced the rent by half you must state in writing for how long this will be and that it is temporary. Whether repayment of the missing half is due after the temp period and also under what terms you are temp reducing the rent. What will happen if they do not pay the full rate at the end of the temp term and any notice period to depart.

You sound a lovely genuine person but you could get yourself into all sorts of problems not doing the above. Of course you may not, but that’s the risk and cost you will have to consider and bear!!! Hence I would not do it as you previously highlighted.

Re the deposit you need to confirm who paid it As an individual or joint. If the person who passed, is there an executor, as legally monies own by them would be declared to the Executor.

Then you need to either get a replacement AST, any updated legalities like E/L, Energy rating requirements, new deposit, notice of all legal documentation to the tenant with a signed letter of acceptance. Be careful as you have allowed half rent and the deposit should be based on the full rent ( see my comments above). So you can see you are heading yourself down a route you may not have understood.

Re having a person on benefits - the AST would be jointly / individually responsible, more long term implications.

Best you join the Landlords association and get advice plus you have access to a host of pre formatted letters, forms and AST which you can tweak.

Hopefully this clarifies areas to look at?


That’s a big help Brian thank you. I have told him he can pay half for August to give him breathing space and that we must talk next week when he has had time to get his head together. I have also told him that it appears it isn’t as simple as taking Alex off the tenancy which will have to be completely redone as the law does not take compassionate relief into account. I need to discuss his options with him and I will look at joining the Landlords association so I don’t land myself in hot water. Again many thanks for your help. :sparkling_heart:

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