Ending the Tenancy

If there is no joint tenant taking over as a sole tenant, the tenancy will end on the date of the tenant's death.  We will check the household details to see if there is anyone living in the property who qualifies to succeed to the tenancy.  

In all cases, we will ask you for a copy of the death certificate to confirm the date of death. 

For more information on succession, please visit the page linked below.


If there is no one to succeed to the tenancy, we will request the details of the next of kin or any executors to the former tenant's estate.  This is so we can write to you about any charges we have to make to the tenant's estate.

We will normally give you up to two weeks rent free to clear the property and to ensure that the property is in an acceptable condition. If you need more time, we can extend the period but would charge rent for each day over the 14 day rent free period and so it is important that you check that the tenant’s estate can meet this cost.

The property should be handed back in an acceptable condition ready for the next tenant, if not; we will claim the cost of any work we have to do from the tenant’s estate. We will not insist on carrying out a house inspection but if you would like a Housing Offi cer to visit and tell you what needs to be done before you hand the keys back then we will be happy to arrange this. Otherwise, the following End of Tenancy Checklist will guide you on how the property should be returned to us.

Clearing the Property

You can arrange for any large items to be uplifted by contacting East Lothian Council on 01875 824305 or through the website www.eastlothian.gov.uk. There may be a charge for doing this but it will be cheaper than us doing this work on your behalf. Please note that such items must be left outside the garden at the kerbside on the day arranged for uplift, and must not be left outside overnight.

If there is good quality furniture or electrical equipment you do not want, you may want to donate it to the Recycling 1st Project, part of the East Lothian Voluntary Organisations Network (ELVON). Recycling 1st will collect any suitable furniture or electrical equipment free of charge from the property. You can contact Recycling 1st on 01875 615797 or by visiting their website.

Recycling First

Chargeable Repairs

If we have to carry out any repairs or decoration, we will aim to recover the costs for this work from the tenant’s estate. We will inspect the property after you return the keys and write to confirm any work we
intend to charge for. We will send a bill when we have received the invoices for the work. 

Advertising the Property

We will now advertise the property for let through These Homes. If anyone approaches you and asks to view the property please do not show them around. We will do this when we have selected the successful applicant.

Who Else You May Need to Contact

You may need to let the following organisations know that the tenant no longer lives in the property:

  • Gas and Electrical suppliers
  • The Post Office
  • Telephone/Cable TV supplier
  • East Lothian Council Housing Benefit and Council Tax Department 
  • Department for Work & Pensions (DWP)

There is also a checklist to help make sure there are no charges against the estate.