Can You Still Enforce Tenants' Rights If Your Landlord Dies?

Can You Still Enforce Tenants' Rights If Your Landlord Dies?

Death is inevitable and part of life. The first thing we would tell you when your landlord dies is, 'Do not panic'. . However, if the landlord dies between tenancies, there is no tenancy.

All the tenancy agreements hold as you continue to pay your rent and get maintenance services as expected for the heir or the estate management company that succeeds your landlord. Your landlord might have written a will or registered the property as part of an estate.

Death brings uncertainties, and you might not know what to do. DoNotPay helps you understand what to do and your tenant's rights if your landlord dies. Sign up on our website to access our tenants' rights and landlord protection products today.

How Does the Landlord Protect the Tenant's Right in Case of Death?

Death can strike anyone at any time, and every landlord should have a backup plan to protect their tenants in case the worst happens. The backup plan might be a partner or a buy-to-rent executor who understands all the running of the rental property and the tenancy agreement.

The buy-to-rent executor has a responsibility to assume the landlord's duties, and obligations to the tenants, and protect the tenants' rights in case the landlord dies. The executor can be a family member, friend, or property management professional.

The executor will collect the rent, pay the bills, oversee repairs, and apply for probate, the legal permission to deal with someone else's estate. The landlord will have put together an emergency kit for the executor, which might contain the following:

  • Registered property address and copy of the keys to each house
  • Verified copies of tenancy agreements containing the tenants' details, current rents, due dates, tenancy validity days, and any statement of arrears
  • Copies of tenants' details, including names, number of people per household, etc.
  • Mortgage account numbers, lender name, and any outstanding debt amounts
  • Name and address of the property accountant
  • Copies of property and other business insurance policies, name of insurer, account numbers, and renewal dates
  • Names and contacts details for any joint owners and trusted tradesmen
  • Details of any tenancy security deposits and dates and how the tenants can get their security deposit back
  • mandatory information like the How to Rent guide, needed repairs and maintenance, gas and electrical safety certificates and their expiry dates

What Will Happen When Your Landlord Dies?

Death brings confusion and uncertainties, but one thing remains constant; the death of your landlord does not invalidate your tenancy. Whether your landlord has a will or not, you will continue living on the premises under the same tenancy agreement, paying rent, and enjoying all the services you deserve.

The buy-to-rent executor selected by your landlord will continue managing your residence as your landlord during probate until they have laid a proper structure to resell or transfer property ownership as the will directs.

Nothing changes for you if:

  1. Your tenancy is over a fixed period, and your tenancy agreement will not be broken.
  2. The probate has begun, and the process will give ample time to put yourself together and plan your next move.
  3. You are on a periodic tenancy, and you must give a one-month notice to the executor, while the executor should give you a two-month notice before you move out.
  4. Your deposit is in an approved protection scheme, and you will still get it back as per your tenancy agreement.

If the executor has instructions to sell the property, you will be given a Section 21 no-fault eviction notice. The Section 21 form will be a tenant's notice to end the tenancy, giving you the go-ahead to scout for an alternative residence.

What Happens if Our Landlord Dies Without a Will or an Executor?

Your landlord might die a sudden death with no backup plan such as a will or a buy-to-rent executor. However, this sudden death does not invalidate your tenancy agreement. You have the responsibility to report the circumstances to a court or other relevant authorities.

There are set guidelines on how the law deals with cases of landlord death without backup plans. The court will appoint a personal representative to manage the estate with the help of the deceased family or close circle. 

The representative will contact you, preferably via a letter, and update you on what has happened and what is expected of you. The representative has the same responsibilities as the buy-to-rent executor during probate.

Where to Get Help if Needed

In most cases, your status as a tenant will remain unaffected by the death of your landlord. But if ever you need help regarding your tenancy, you may contact the following:

MP and LordsA complaint can be made to your MP, a local councilor, or a tenant panel if you have concerns about your tenancy.
Citizens AdviceGo to your nearest Citizens Advice and find an adviser to understand what rights you have.
Local CouncilIf there’s a problem you cannot resolve with the executor, you can contact your council or local authority.

DoNotPay Can Help You in Case of Your Landlord's Death

The death of your landlord might result in a change of tenancy terms after probate or selling of the property. In any case, you might need to relocate and conceal your lease. Cancelling a lease might take longer than necessary, despite death being an expected case that requires immediate action.

DoNotPay has a way of helping you cancel your lease with ease. If you want to break a lease but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:

  1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.


  2. Select which issue applies to you.


  3. Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.


  4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.


And that's it! You should hear back from the property directly once your demands are sent.

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