Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst!
No one likes to think about getting older, but everyone should prepare for it to make sure their next of kin aren’t left with having to sort out a messy tenancy end when their loved ones pass on or particularly should you be hospitalised and unable to return to your home.
What to do:
- Make sure we know who your next of kin is, and how to contact them – you can update this information at any time in your My Home account
- If you want your next of kin to be able to manage your tenancy if you are incapacitated, send us a signed letter telling us you give your consent for us to share information with them (without it, we cannot speak to them on your behalf)
- Consider setting up a Friends & Family account, so a trusted member of your family, or other care giver, can manage your tenancy through your My Home account
- Consider setting up a Power of Attorney to allow a trusted person to make decisions on your behalf.
If a tenant without a Power of Attorney is permanently hospitalised and cannot sign a form to end their tenancy, our only option is to take legal action to bring the tenancy to an end. This is a lose-lose situation, as the legal process can take months, rent continues to be charged even though the tenant isn’t living there (which means Housing Benefit or Universal Credit can’t be claimed to cover the rent), and court costs can add hundreds of pounds of unnecessary debt.
We do not want to ever have to do this to a family dealing with an ill relative, but it is the only legal way we have to end a tenancy if the tenant is incapacitated and there is no Power of Attorney in place.
So please make these simple preparations, just in case anything like this should ever happen to you.