Ending your tenancy

Ending a tenancy after a death when there is No Next-of-Kin or Will

1. Introduction

This information relates to what happens when a Council tenant, who was living alone, dies.

The tenancy does not end when the tenant dies, and the only people who can end it are:

•    An executor – this is the person, named in the will, who will deal with the possessions of the person who has died
•    An administrator – this person has applied to the Probate Registry and obtained letters of administration (or the grant of probate)
•   The City of Lincoln Council.

A next of kin, who is not the executor or administrator, cannot end the tenancy.

For a tenant who dies without a Will or with a Will but without an Executor, the tenancy is transferred temporarily to the Public Trustee. In these circumstances the Council will follow this procedure to take legal possession of the property.

2. The Legal Framework

This guidance is produced in line with The Public Trustee (Notices Affecting Land) (Title on Death) Regulations 1995.

What the City of Lincoln Council will do:

If there is no executor or administrator, by law the City of Lincoln Council must serve a 'notice to quit' on the Public Trustee (tenancies are transferred temporarily to this public office if a tenant dies without a will, or with a will but without an executor.)

In order to serve a Notice to Quit on the Public Trustee, the Council must do the following:

  • Post or deliver a Written Notice to End Tenancy for Public Trustee letter to the tenant’s last known address saying the Council is giving written notice
  • The notice will be addressed to “The Personal Representative of’ giving the full name of the tenant who has died, with their last known address
  • A copy of this letter will also be sent to the Public Trustee; The tenancy will end four weeks after this is served
  • Rent will be charged during this time
  • The Public Trustee will either register or reject the application and notify the Council of its decision within 15 working days of receipt of application and payment
  • Once the notice is registered the Council can legally take back possession of the property. To check that the tenancy has been ended the Public Trustee should be asked to do a search of the Law of Property database
  • If the above process is followed, the tenancy will end and the Council will be able to take possession of the property.