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  • Buy-to-Let

    Widowed tenant struggling to pay rent

    Dear All,

    I have just got a message from the wife of my tenant that he has passed away recently. They were an elderly couple, both on the tenancy. She said she will have hard time paying the rent alone and asked me to call her back to discuss.

    Before I do so, I would like to investigate how can I help her in these difficult times. They were long term tenants for 10 years. Always paying rent on time. Is there any way to help?

    What info I need to ask from her? Would the council pay for the rent in this case? She is also disabled, the council had to install a staircase lift recently.

    Rent they are paying is £1100, market rent is £1250 (I kept it purposely lower) it's in DA6 area.

    Thanks much for any ideas.

    Pete

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    Sympathy and no rush and those good old British traditions of decency & fair play.

    If she has access to internet get her to run the benefit calculators on gov.uk to see what benefits she is now entitled to ...

    https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators

    - or local CaB if no internet available.

    Review THAT councll's housing allocation policy to see if she would be high priority for social housing e.g. (usually 20+ pages, sorry..)

    https://www.reading.gov.uk/homechoice

    - perhaps print it off for her.

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    What a sad situation.

    The tenant who has died will have an estate that needs closing out.  It may be that he has assets, savings, etc. that will be passed to his wife.  If he had a private pension, she may also receive some of this.

    I think, in the first instance, you should arrange to visit the tenant and ask if any family members can attend as well, so that you can discuss the situation and find out if the departed tenant has any assets in his estate that could assist in paying the rent.

    You could also assist the tenant in approaching the local authority to ask if the remaining tenant is entitled to housing benefit to help her stay in the property.

    Following a death, there is obviously a lot of distress and confusion, and the wife may not be fully understanding of her situation once probate has taken place.

    I think that you should try and involve any relatives with the decision making process as they may agree to make up the short fall of the rent, if there is no other option.

    If the tenant wishes to stay in the property, and there are no other alternatives, she could sub-let one of the bedrooms, with your permission.

    ​Hope that helps and please let us know what happens here.

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    If she is alone the LHA rate is £165.85 a week

    so even if she gets state help there will be a shortfall


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    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.


    """   If she is alone the LHA rate is £165.85 a week

    so even if she gets state help there will be a shortfall

      """"


    That may be the rate DL where you are but unlikely to be in the council area for this widowed lady.  LHA rates vary a lot!

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    No I checked the post code for LHA rate have a look

    regards DL

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    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.


    It’s ok o get it wrong too at times

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    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.

    Thanks for the useful advice!

    I have called her and the council will pay her some benefit if I drop the rent to £1000. So, I accepted it.

    I might not be nominated for the "most profit making landlord" award but I will sleep better at night.

    But I was wondering how will I be informed if something happens to the elderly lady? She lives alone, shall I talk to neighbours? Council?

    Thanks much!

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    It would be advisable to ask her for next of kin details so that you have someone to contact if there are any problems.

    The family is always best to contact to get input if you are concerned about a tenant.

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    Good for you, I would have done the same. I firmly believe what goes around comes around. It's actions like this,  that is why you have excellent long term tenants

    Andy

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    Slowly working towards financial freedom