Death of a tenant

We know that it can be extremely difficult to deal with practicalities following the death of a loved one. We can help you and give advice on what needs to be done when a property has to be returned to Westminster City Council.

Notifying us 

You may notify us by telephone on 0800 358 3783, by completing our online form or via email at housing.enquiries@westminster.gov.uk and we will explain what needs to be done next. 

The person notifying us about the death of a tenant would need to provide us with the following information:

  • name and contact details for the deceased’s next of kin 
  • name and details of any other person who is responsible for dealing with their affairs
  • copy of the death certificate

You would also need to let us know if there is any garage, shed or parking agreement in place which also needs to be terminated.

You can also use the government’s Tell Us Once service (opens new window) to inform all relevant agencies of the death without having to contact each individual agency.

What steps we take upon receiving notification

It is standard practice for Westminster City Council to serve a Notice to Quit (NTQ) on the property and the public trustee to formally end the tenancy.

We would confirm the date for the keys to the property to be returned.  All keys and fobs must be returned by 12 noon on the termination Monday to the relevant local area office. 

For tenants residing in community supported housing units, the keys and notice must be provided to the local area office and not to the scheme manager. This is important as we require 4 weeks notice to terminate the tenancy and if the keys are not returned within the required or agreed period this may result in charges to the estate of the deceased.

What you should do before returning the keys to us

Before the keys are returned to us those responsible for dealing with the deceased’s affairs need to:

  • remove the deceased’s belongings from the property
  • redirect their post
  • read the gas and electricity meters and forward final readings to the appropriate companies
  • close all of the windows and lock all of the doors
  • notify the council’s housing benefit and council tax departments

If you are in any way unsure how to proceed then please contact us for assistance. If you are seeking information on succeeding a tenancy, please see our succession page.