Guidance notes notification of death of tenant

We are sorry to hear of your recent loss. We understand that this can be a difficult time and hope this guidance note explains how a Folkestone & Hythe Council tenancy should be brought to an end.

When a tenant dies their secure tenancy does not automatically end. If the deceased tenant did not have a Will the Next of Kin or person dealing with the late tenants’ affairs can give us notice of the death by completing a ‘Notification of Death of Tenant’ form – but this person cannot legally end the tenancy. In these cases, once we have received the notification, the Council will also need to serve a Notice to Quit on the property to legally bring the tenancy to an end. The Notice to Quit will give at least 4 weeks’ notice of our intention to end the tenancy. The notice period must always take effect from a Monday and the termination date will be a Sunday. If we are notified of the death on any day other than a Monday the 4 weeks’ notice period will start from the following Monday.

Please note that if the deceased tenant did have a Will you should not complete the ‘Notification of Death of Tenant’ form; the executor named in the Will should complete a ‘Termination of Tenancy – Executor’ form.

Cleaning and clearing the property

The property, including the loft, must be left clean and clear of rubbish and all personal belongings, including white goods and furniture. Carpets should be taken up and removed from the property. Gardens should also be cleared of personal belongings and rubbish; the grass should be cut and any trees, bushes or hedges cut back to a reasonable standard. Sheds and outbuildings should be cleared of all personal belongings. Any medical aids, such as bath seats, should be returned to NHS supplies or Social Services.

Please note that any items that are left in the property, gardens, sheds or outbuildings will be regarded as unwanted and may be disposed of. In these cases the deceased tenant’s estate will be charged for the cost of disposal. If we need to carry out repairs because of damage or alterations to the property the deceased tenants’ estate may also be charged for the cost of the repairs. At the end of this guidance note is a list of approximate costs that may be charged if we need to repair the property.

Please ensure that final gas, electricity and water meter readings are taken and leave all gas and electricity meter keys in the meters, as these cannot be transferred to a new property. Please note that we will share the deceased tenants’ data with utility companies so that final bills can be calculated. You can find full details of how we use and share the information you give us on our web site at

Please close all windows and doors and ensure that the property is securely locked.

Advertising the property

As soon as we have served the Notice to Quit we will advertise the property on the Kent Homechoice website so we can find a new tenant. This is because the process of re-letting the property takes a number of weeks – and with thousands of people on the housing waiting list we have a duty to fill empty properties as quickly as possible. We hope you understand our reasons for this. If anybody contacts you asking to view the property, having seen it advertised online, please do not show them around. Folkestone & Hythe District Council will carry out viewings with any potential new tenants once you have returned the keys.

Rent and benefits payments

Please note that if you are a Next of Kin or person dealing with the deceased tenants affairs you are not personally liable for any rent arrears or charges.

If the deceased tenant was in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit (UC) please inform the Council’s benefits department or the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) of the death. Folkestone & Hythe District Council will not notify these departments. Any entitlement to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (UC) stops the Monday after the date of death.

Regrettably, in the event of a death full rent continues to be charged during the notice period. Any rent owed during the notice period (or any existing rent arrears) will be charged to the deceased tenants’ estate. Similarly, if there is any credit on the rent account at the end of the tenancy this will be credited to the deceased tenants’ estate. If the keys are not returned by midday (12 noon) on the termination date an amount equivalent to the weekly rent and service charge will continue to be charged to the deceased tenants’ estate until the keys have been returned.

If you are responsible for paying the rent please ensure this is paid up in full. If you are in any doubt about the amount payable, please contact the Income Team on 01303 853 300 or via email at

Other things to consider

As well as benefits departments you may need to inform a number of other

companies/organisations of the death, including:

  • Gas, electricity and water providers – please take your own final meter readings
  • Telephone, broadband, sky/cable TV providers
  • Doctors, hospitals, dentists, opticians, schools
  • Royal Mail – please arrange for mail to be redirected if necessary
  • Banks, building societies and credit card companies
  • Any regular deliveries such as newspapers or milk

Returning keys

Clearly labelled house keys should be returned to the main Council offices by 12 noon on the Monday the tenancy ends. Keys should be returned on a Friday or a Monday if possible, as we have staff available on these days to accept keys. You can the return keys early but please be aware that our maintenance contractors may start work in the property immediately.


Below are examples of approximate costs that may be charged to the deceased tenants’ estate if the property is not returned clean and in a good state of repair and decoration (except for any repairs that are the responsibility of the council). This list does not cover all of the things that may be recharged but gives examples of the most common issues.

Replacing internal doors, if the doors were changed or damaged
  • £118 per door
Removing a garden shed or greenhouse which you put up
  • £94 – minimum, depending on the size and amount to be cleared
Filling in a pond
  • £48 per square metre
Clearing rubbish, furniture or other belongings from your property. If there are large items or a large amount of items left this charge will increase.
  • £94 – minimum, depending on the amount of items to be cleared
Clearing rubbish from your garden. If the clearance needs to be removed in a skip, you will also be charged this cost.
  • £94 – minimum
  • £198 – per skip
Clearing a loft
  • £58
Clearing an outside store
  • £29 – per store
Removing wall lights, non-standard DIY electrical fittings, for example: metal light switches, plug sockets, down lighters and any non-standard light fitting
  • £19 – per light fitting
  • £12 – per double socket
Removing shelving
  • £4 – per shelf
Removing wall cabinets
  • £6 – per cabinet

Floor covering can only be left with the agreement of your neighbourhood manager, if EKH have to remove floor covering that you have left, the costs are:

  • Floor tiles
  • Other types of floor coverings


  • £5.82 – per square metre
  • £56
Removing graffiti
  • £6 – per square metre