Succession of deceased mother's regulated tenancy

Dear forum,

I am writing hoping for some advice please? My mother has died in hospital last week on the day she was due to be discharged. This was unexpected and absolutely devastating to the whole family. We are all now very worried about what will happen to the house as it is our family home, Mum did all the wiring on it and built all the units etc back in the 70s when she and my Dad moved in. All Mum’s stuff is there, we would love to keep the house as it is.

The house was owned by a private landlord and has changed hands a few times over the many years. My Mum paid rent to them and at the time of her death was receiving housing benefit to pay the rent. We can’t find any tenancy agreement and the current landlord said they don’t have one either, he just said the rent is set by the VOA.

On reading some of Mum’s rent docs, we have discovered that the tenancy is a regulated tenancy. Would any of us be entitled or even have a chance of taking the tenancy over? It would be between two of my sisters.

The ideal scenario is that the sister who was living with Mum at the time would just take on the tenancy. She is not currently working as she gave it up to be a full time carer for my mum and dad who also died back in May. She is just claiming UC and was claiming carer’s allowance until she gets back into work which is likely to be after she has had time to grieve and readjust to normal life.

Could she just succeed the tenancy whilst on UC? The rent is £260 per week, which is very high and possibly way over the threshold of housing benefit, but Mum was getting it paid by housing benefit at the time of her death so I am not sure which is why I am asking for advice.

The other option which we are reluctant to do is that my other sister pays the rent, and the non-working one gets housing benefit for renting a room, or maybe half the rent for half the house. Is that even a likely scenario?

Finally, what would the options be likely to be regarding a right to buy or a discount on it? Mum was there 46 years. The property owner is Mountview Estates.

We are in a state of shock and desperate to hang onto the house at all costs, even if for a few more years until we are strong enough to deal with losing that too. Any help would be much appreciated and help immensely to ease some of our stress at this terrible time.

Thank you very much for reading.

I have a feeling that it can pass on if another member of the family has lived with the original tenant for a certain number of years. This may be subject to when the original tenant moved in .This is a bit of tricky question

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Sorry, I should add that it is a three bedroomed property, so would that be out of the question for just one sister to inherit the tenancy whilst claiming housing benefit? They have been paying it for my mum though since she stopped working, so again, I am confused.

Thanks again.

It cannot be passed on if the original tenant lived on their own Being on UC does not make any difference as long as she can prove she has lived there for at least two years

Thanks yes I have found a lot of conflicting information on it…most of it says we probably can succeed it, but we are worried we will approach the landlord and he will say no then just tell us to get out. We really need to know where we stand before we approach them, and we don’t have long until we have to do so.

My sister has been staying with Mum and Dad and caring for them since Oct 2020.

Thank you. She has been living there caring for them since Oct 2020 and has evidence to prove this, despite having a flat somewhere else, does that count?

If she carries on paying the rent AND it is accepted That Usually is the start of a new contract. If the landlord accepts it just carry on . If he does not , get legal advice. A regulated tennancy can only be passed on only once… I do not know about having a flat elsewhere.

Thank you very much. Sorry to sound dim but what would your immediate course of action be at this time? Contact them right away and propose this or get more advice first? We know we have to tell them soon, not sure how soon but we are guessing 30 days?

I think I would get professional advice first and then contact him

Thank you, do you have anyone you could recommend? This is all new to us and we are hastily trying to sort it out ASAP with barely enough strength to wake up in the morning. :pensive:

I do not no I am in Lancashire .There is a regular firm I use for conveyancing. But you probably need near to you just to pop in. Or C A B or Shelter?

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Ok thanks very much, will do. I appreciate your time.

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I think the person who wishes to inherit the tenancy has to have lived there for at least the last 2 years and be the partner or child of the tenant. If the child, then I think the inherrited tenancy would be an Assured Tenancy, rather than a Regulated Tenancy, meaning that the rent could be increased to market level.

You are going to need specialist help with this. Start by ringing Shelter.

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