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Eviction after a council or housing association tenant dies

When a council or housing association tenant dies, the landlord might:

  • tell you that you cannot stay in your home

  • send a notice that tells you to leave

You do not have to leave straight away even if you cannot succeed to a tenancy.

The council or housing association has to get a court order to evict you.

Speak to the landlord

Tell the council or housing association that the tenant has died and that you want to stay.

The council or housing association usually ask:

  • how you are related to the tenant who died

  • how long you lived with them for

Get any evidence the landlord asks for. This helps them decide if you can take over the tenancy.

The landlord might allow you to stay while you apply for council housing.

Check the notice

The landlord must give you a valid notice if they want you to leave.

Valid means the notice has the right information and dates on it.

If the landlord's notice is not valid, they cannot get a court order to make you leave.

What notice the landlord has to give you depends on:

  • the tenancy type

  • if you're the tenant's next of kin or named in their will

The landlord has to get a court order to make you leave.

The court has to give the property back to the landlord if the landlord follows the correct legal process.

4 weeks' notice to quit

The council or housing association usually sends a notice to quit to the property if:

The landlord usually has to name the tenant's personal representatives on the notice.

A personal representative is the person dealing with someone's money and possessions after they die. This is usually a family member.

If there is no personal representative, the landlord must send a copy of the notice to quit to the Public Trustee.

The notice might not be valid if the landlord sends it to the wrong person.

The council can give another type of a 4 weeks' notice if it was a flexible tenancy.

2 months' notice for housing association tenancies

Sometimes a housing association has to give you a 2 months' notice. It is called a 'section 8' notice.

They must do this if nobody has tenancy succession rights, and you have inherited an assured tenancy:

  • under a will

  • because you are next of kin if there is no will

The notice has to mention 'ground 7' and explain why the housing association wants you to move out.

The housing association can only use ground 7 in the first year after your relative's death.

If they do not start court action during this time, you can stay in your home as the tenant.

Get free legal advice

You can get free advice if you get a notice.

You might get ongoing legal help if you have a low income.

An adviser could help you:

  • get the council or housing association to let you stay

  • show the court that the landlord's notice is not valid

Pay rent and other charges

Ask for a rent account in your name if the landlord says you need to pay rent.

Ask for a 'use and occupation' agreement if you're asked to pay charges but have not been recognised as a tenant.

You might feel you should not have to pay rent or other charges if you cannot stay in the property long term.

Paying these charges might help if you apply for succession. It shows the landlord that you can pay the rent.

It might also help the landlord to decide that they should let you stay in the property even if you do not have tenancy succession rights.

Get benefits to help

Universal credit can help with these payments if you're on a low income.

You need to show proof that you need to pay them to stay in your home. For example, a rent demand or use and occupation agreement.

Get benefits advice if you are refused.

Get homeless help if you have to leave

You can ask the council for help to find somewhere to live.

You can do this even if you're being evicted by the council.

Last updated: 14 March 2024

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