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What happens if your landlord dies

Your tenancy does not end if your landlord dies.

Nobody can force you to leave straight away.

If there is another joint owner, this person is still your landlord.

One of your landlord's relatives normally has the legal responsibility for dealing with any property and money left behind. They are called the 'personal representative'.

A personal representative has the responsibilities of a landlord while they sort out who inherits the property. You might need to try and find out who the personal representative is if they do not contact you.

When the personal representative has dealt with things, the person who inherits the property becomes your new landlord.

Your rights stay the same

You do not have to sign a new tenancy agreement unless you want to.

The terms of your tenancy agreement stay the same. For example, how much rent you pay and any fixed term.

If your universal credit or housing benefit stops because your landlord dies, a new tenancy agreement can sometimes help to get your claim restarted.

Get benefits advice if you have a problem with your claim.

If you are pressured to leave

You have the right to live in your home without people harassing you. It could be harassment if your landlord's relatives do not respect this right.

Use our template letter if your landlord's relatives pressure you to leave.

[Use the subject: My tenancy]

I would firstly like to say I am very sorry for your loss.

I have been a tenant at [address] since [date].

On [date] you contacted me asking me to leave the property.

Legally, a tenancy does not end if the landlord dies. I plan to stay in the property. My tenancy continues with the same conditions.

Please could you give me contact details for the person legally dealing with the estate as a personal representative.

You can also send the letter as an email attachment or by post:

Who is responsible for the tenancy after a landlord dies?

This depends on your landlord's situation. It could be:

  • the joint owner if there is one

  • a personal representative - this is often the landlord's closest relative

  • someone who inherits the property

  • a letting agent

Anyone who inherits the property or becomes your new landlord must give you their name and address within 2 months.

Find out who to speak to

You can:

  • ask your letting agent

  • write to your old landlord's address asking for contact details

Find out who has the legal responsibility for the tenancy

When someone dies, one person usually has the legal responsibility to deal with the property and money of the person who died. They are called the 'personal representative'.

To find out who the personal representative is, you could:

Check the Land Registry on GOV.UK to find out who owns your home.

With all of these services it can take some time for records to be updated.

Who to pay rent to when your landlord dies

You still have to pay rent even if it's not clear who to pay it to.

If you know who the personal representative is, you should pay rent to them.

If your landlord died without a will, nobody can take rent for the tenancy until a personal representative has been sorted out.

If you do not know who to pay rent to, keep the money safe and do not spend it. You could keep it in a separate account.

Tell the letting agent or the landlord's relatives that you have the rent. You can pay it to the personal representative or new landlord when you know who it is. This means you do not end up with rent arrears.

Rent increases

Your rent can only be increased after your landlord's death by:

  • a joint landlord if there is one

  • someone who inherits the property

  • a personal representative with legal responsibility for dealing with the property

Your new landlord or the person managing the tenancy must follow the correct legal process.

Find out about:


The person who manages your tenancy must make sure repairs are done.

If there is no will, nobody has to do repairs until the relatives have sorted out a personal representative to deal with the landlord's estate.

You should still let someone know if urgent repairs are needed.

Tenancy deposits

Your deposit should stay protected in a scheme when your landlord dies.

Your new landlord must update the deposit scheme with their details if they decide to manage the property themselves. If they use an agent, the agent can update the scheme.

A new landlord or agent might choose to use a different deposit protection scheme but your deposit should stay protected at all times.

If your new landlord breaks the tenancy deposit rules:

Can you be evicted when the landlord dies?

You must be given a legal notice. Only a court can order you to leave.

Only a landlord or a personal representative can apply to court.

Get early legal advice if you get a notice.

The eviction process is different for:

Regulated and assured tenants have stronger rights than other private renters and can only be evicted for a legal reason.

Lodgers have fewer rights and can be evicted without a court order.

Homeless help if you have to leave

You can ask for help from your council if you could be homeless in the next 8 weeks.

Contact the council if you get a notice.

Do not move out if you have nowhere to go. Carry on paying rent.

The council might say you are intentionally homeless if you:

  • leave a home that you could have stayed in

  • do not pay rent

This can mean you do not get as much help to find somewhere else to live.

You can get help to deal with harassment if you're being pressured to leave even though you have a right to stay.

Last updated: 21 March 2024

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