We understand that losing a loved one is distressing and dealing with their personal matters can be difficult.

We've outlined some of the information and advice that relatives and next of kin may find helpful.

Ending the contract

Our relevant neighbourhood manager will be able to advise you on what needs to happen in order to end your loved one’s contract as easily as possible.

If any other residents are still living at the property after a contract holder or joint contract holder has passed away, they will need to contact us to discuss the circumstances and any possible contract implications.

If no-one remains in the property, you will be required to produce a death certificate to waive the four weeks’ notice usually required to end a contract .

We will agree with you when it will be convenient for you and your family to remove personal items from the property and return the keys.

You will need to provide the following:

  • your name, address, contact details and your relationship to the deceased
  • the name, address, contact details and relationship to the deceased of the executor/administrator of the estate if different to yourself (this could be a solicitor acting on your family’s behalf)
  • a death certificate once available

In some instances you may be required to provide a copy of the will.

Rent and other bills – your responsibilities

Rent and all other applicable charges will continue to be charged until the day you return the property keys to us.

You or the person dealing with the deceased’s estate will be informed of any outstanding charges once all accounts in relation to the contract have been closed. Please note that this can take up to four weeks after the keys have been returned.

Entitlement to benefits cease upon the date of death, and will no longer cover any rental liability.

The deceased’s estate is responsible for paying any money outstanding in relation to the tenancy, including rent and utility bills.

What is an estate? 

When someone passes away, any money owed by or owed to that person is known as their ‘estate’.

The estate is usually managed by an executor if someone has made a will, which can be a solicitor, family member or other nominated person. If no will has been made, then usually the next of kin (closest relative, for example spouse or child) is responsible for dealing with the deceased’s affairs.

The executor/next of kin is responsible for realising all assets of the estate (money owed to the estate or things such as property or life insurance) and paying any money owed by that estate, such as funeral costs, rent and council tax.

Can I get help to cover funeral costs?

Funeral costs are a priority debt and must be paid above all other bills. If there is not enough money from the estate in order to pay for a funeral, you may be able to get help from the social fund by contacting the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

You may qualify for help towards funeral costs if you are entitled to:

  • Income support
  • Universal credit
  • Job seeker’s allowance (income-based)
  • Employment and support allowance (income-related)
  • Pension credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit

If there is no money left after paying for the funeral, the estate is classed as insolvent. If rent or other bills are still outstanding, you will have to provide documentation in order to prove the estate is insolvent and that you or the executor are unable to pay any money outstanding.

You will usually need to provide a copy of the deceased’s bank or Post Office statements and details of funeral costs.

Help with clearing the property

There are a number of charitable organisations within the Newport area that may be able to assist you with clearing the property by taking unwanted furniture and other household items.

Other helpful services

There are a number of organisations that can provide services to help you in these circumstances.

Tell us once

As there are a number of organisations that have to be contacted when someone passes away, the local registrar and DWP offer a 'Tell us once' service. They will notify all government departments that need to be informed on your behalf, such as council tax and the DVLA.

You can book an appointment with the registrar for the Newport area by calling 01633 656 656.

If you would prefer to speak to someone by telephone, you can contact the DWP on 0800 085 7308. Lines are open Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm.

Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse Bereavement Care is a voluntary organisation that offers a bereavement service to loved ones and can provide a one-to-one service in person or via telephone to offer support and advice.

They also have literature available upon request, including ‘Coping with Trauma and Loss’ and ‘Has Someone Died – Restoring Hope’.

For more information, call 01633 251 982.


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