Wealden District Council
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Tenant has passed away – what happens now?

We would like to express our deepest condolences to you on the loss of your loved one.

This page includes practical information on what needs to be done, as well as details of organisations throughout the UK that are able to offer you support going forwards.

You may not be ready to look through this straight away, or you may find it of immediate help. Either way we hope that it will guide you on either ending a tenancy with Wealden District Council or point you in the right direction if you are residing at the property and someone has passed away.  There are also details of organisations to signpost you towards that may be able to provide further support to you and your family.

If you are a joint tenant and need the tenancy amending, please contact the Housing Management Team on 01323 443363.  View further information relating to a Tenancy Succession.

We work hard as a team to ensure this process is as straightforward as possible.

  • Please make sure we have the best telephone number to contact you on.
  • We will need to receive an End of Tenancy Form , giving us 4 weeks’ notice that the tenancy will end.  Please do not give notice if there is a joint tenant living at the property, or someone else is residing there.  Speak with your Housing Officer to get advice.
  • We will need a copy of the Death Certificate when you have it.
  • Please be advised that benefit for rent will stop being paid from the date of death, meaning the full rent will continue to be due until the tenancy is brought to an end.
  • As mentioned above, if you are a joint tenant, you will need to discuss succession rights with your Housing Officer.  Further details can be found in our Housing Succession Policy

Below is a list of some practical things that need to be done after a death.  

If there is a joint tenant living at the property, speak with the Housing Officer to discuss succession rights.

However, if the tenancy was in the sole name of the person who has passed away, please follow these steps:

  • Complete an End of Tenancy Form giving us 4 weeks’ notice and submit to the Housing Officer. This needs to be dated from the next Sunday following the date of death.  
  • Give a copy of the death certificate to the Housing Officer, as the tenancy cannot be ended without it.
  • Register the death within 5 days by contacting the local Registry Office
  • Tell the Government about the death. The Tell Us Once service means that all Government departments, such as benefits, will be informed.  The Registrar will help you with this
  • Check if you can receive Bereavement Benefits, such as a Bereavement Support Payment 
  • Arrange the funeral. View further information on this and Funeral Directors .  If you wish to hold a gathering in the communal lounge, please speak to the Court Manager

You can find more guidance, such as dealing with an estate and probate, on the GOV.UK website 

  • A pre void inspection of the property will take place within 5 days or receiving the notice from you.  This will be carried out either in person, or by video call.
  • You will have 4 weeks to clear the property which will include floor coverings unless prior agreement has been made from the Housing Officer.
  • Keys will need to be handed back to the Council Offices on the Monday following the tenancy end date.

If the death is unexpected, the Coroner or the Coroner’s Officer (from the Police) may be in touch to take statements in the first few days after a death. This can feel daunting for family members but is a very normal process.

The Coroner will investigate your loved one’s death, and produce a report. Next of kin are provided with a copy of the Coroner’s report. If the Coroner requires more detailed information, an Inquest will be arranged. You may receive an interim death certificate, this will enable you to end the tenancy with Wealden.

An inquest is a legal process and is sometimes needed to establish a cause of death. It is held in a courtroom. An inquest’s function is to legally define the cause of death and usually you can choose if you want to attend, unless you are a key witness. It can be helpful to visit the court beforehand to familiarise yourself with where you will sit. The inquest is open to the public.

A funeral service can focus on the positive aspects of the life of our loved one and provide some comfort. If you find the organisation of a funeral overwhelming enlist friends or services to help. Some will be driven to be fully involved and it can be a positive experience. After the funeral it may feel flat and emotions may become overwhelming, ensure you have support around you if you need it.

The Council operates a beautiful crematorium in Wealden and can offer advice and support throughout this process.


Grief can be overwhelming.  But you don’t need to get through it by yourself.  There are a large number of organisations in the UK who can offer you support through this difficult time.

Below you will find a few of these options but there are many more resources online.

  • The Good Grief Trust   –  Run by the bereaved, for the bereaved, they aim to normalise grief and raise awareness of the impact of grief on a national platform.
  • CRUSE Bereavement Care – Eastbourne – Helping people through one of the most painful times in life – with bereavement support, information and campaigning.  
  • Switchboard LGBT – Support following the death of a same-sex partner.  
  • Sue Ryder Bereavement Support – Online bereavement information and practical advice to help you through grief 
  • BEAD – A source of information, support and hope for anyone whose loved one has died as a result of drug or alcohol use
  • At A Loss – Bereavement Signposting Website
  • Marie Curie – Care and support through terminal illness.