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What happens when a council tenant who was living alone dies?

If you are next of kin or acting on behalf of one of our tenants who has died, please contact the Resident and Estates team as soon as you can.

A copy of the tenant’s death certificate must be provided.

If family members lived with the tenant when they died, they may be entitled to succeed the tenancy, subject to certain conditions. This is known, in law, as succession. If you think you may be eligible to succeed, contact your housing officer.

If no one was living with the tenant and you wish to return the property, there are a number of things to be aware of.

Ending the tenancy

Only certain people can legally end a tenancy.

  • An Executor, The person given authority in the tenant’s Will to deal with their affairs is an Executor.
  • The person who has been given Grant of Probate for the tenant is an Administrator.
  • Stevenage Borough Council.

A next of kin, who is not the Executor or Administrator, cannot end the tenancy.

If you are an Executor or Administrator, you can download a termination of tenancy and return it to us. We will need to see proof that you are the Executor or Administrator.

If there is no Executor or Administrator, we will serve a notice to quit on the Public Trustee to legally end the tenancy.

Rent payments and Housing Benefit

Rent will continue to be charged until the tenancy has ended and the keys to the property have been returned.

Clearing the rent account balance

Any rent due will be claimed from the late tenant’s estate. If there is a credit on the rent account, Income Services will contact the Executor, Administrator or next of kin to discuss further.

If there is no estate for an arrears balance to be paid, the representative should contact Income Services to discuss further.

Returning the keys

If provided, please hand all keys and electronic fobs (front, rear, garage, storage and shed door), back to the Customer Service Centre by 12pm on the next working day after the tenancy ends (unless this a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday).

If the property is a Sheltered property, please return the keys to the Warden's office.

The property should be cleared of the deceased tenant’s furniture and belongings before the keys are returned.

Access to the property and clearance

If the Executor, Administrator or any other individual already has keys, we will not provide access to the property. However, if no-one has keys to the property, we can only give keys to the person who is the Executor or Administrator.

Once the keys have been returned, we will dispose of any goods not required. We reserve the right to charge this back to the estate.

Resident and Estates Services

Stevenage Borough Council

Daneshill House




01438 242666