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What happens if my landlord passes away?

30 September 2019  |  Admin

If a landlord dies, then the person who takes the role of administering their estate becomes the new landlord. This is known as being an ‘accidental landlord’

When your landlord passes away, you may then have to deal with someone who has never been a landlord before and isn’t familiar with the obligations it entails.

They are also likely to be struggling to deal with everything else that administering an estate involves and may be overwhelmed with paperwork.

However they must still comply with the rules surrounding property rental and are required to do the following:

Keep the property in good repair

A landlord should keep any rental property in good and safe condition, both inside and out. Fire safety standards need to be complied with, including having fire escapes, smoke alarms on each floor and furniture and furnishings which meet fire safety standards.

Provide the necessary certifications

Safety checks on the gas and electric systems will need to be carried out regularly and copies of the results given to the tenant. An Energy Performance Certificate must also be obtained. This must have a rating of E or above for the property to be rentable.

Obtain the necessary licence

Properties in Wales and within some English local authority areas will need a licence before they can be let. This confirms that the property meets basic standards for renting.

Put liability insurance in place

Landlord’s liability insurance covers any harm suffered by tenants or visitors to the property that arises from a breach of care towards them. Whilst not a legal requirement, every landlord should cover themselves against the risk.

Protect the tenant’s deposit

Any deposit paid by the tenant must be placed in a government-backed deposit protection scheme. This ensures that tenants can reclaim their deposit at the end of the rental period.

Ensure the tenant has a right to rent in the UK

Landlords now have an obligation to check that any tenant has the legal right to rent a property in the UK. This means having sight of documents confirming that a tenant has the right to live in the UK. There is a list of the relevant documents that are considered acceptable proof on the government website.

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