What to do if a
tenant passes away
Losing a loved one is very painful. Making arrangements and telling banks and other organisations about a bereavement is particularly hard. If your relative lived in a Guinness home, here's what you need to know.
If you’re not taking over the tenancy
Call our customer service team. They’ll explain what happens next with your relative’s tenancy and home.
When you call, it’s useful to have the death certificate to hand (though this can sometimes take a few days to get). They’ll ask you to confirm that you’re the next of kin or the executor of the estate. If this isn’t you, you’ll need the contact details of this person.
We’ll usually ask for 28 days’ notice in writing and a copy of the death certificate to end the tenancy. You’ll be responsible for paying the rent during this period. Please arrange for any belongings to be removed from the property.
There’s more information about what to do when a loved one dies on the gov.uk website
If you want to take over the tenancy
You might be eligible to take over a relative or partner’s tenancy if they pass away. This is called tenancy succession.
Who’s eligible for tenancy succession?
Not all tenancies allow someone to take them over, so you should check the tenancy agreement first. Call our customer services team if you have any questions.
If the tenancy allows succession, you may be eligible to take it on in the following circumstances, if you:
- are on a joint tenancy
- were living in the home without a joint tenancy, but the house is your main home
- are a family member living there for at least a year before the tenant’s death
- are now responsible for the tenant’s children, you may be able to stay in the house.
We may offer you a different property if the house is specifically adapted or is too big or small for you.
How do I take on a tenancy?
To take on a tenancy you should:
- write to us within a month of the tenant’s death to say you want to take over the tenancy
- confirm that you’re the next of kin or the executor of the estate. If you’re not, you’ll need to tell us who is and give us their contact details.
We’ll write to you as soon as possible to let you know if you can stay.