As the family member or friend of a tenant who dies, you will have lots of arrangements to make.
The information below is designed to help you sort out their home and tenancy as simply as possible.
We have also included some useful information and contact addresses to help you at this difficult time.
You can take as long as you need to clear the flat, but we will have to charge you rent and service charges until you return the keys to the office. This is because we are a small organisation and we need these payments to meet our costs. It would be helpful if you could contact our independent living officers or the Housing Team Leader to discuss your plans.
You must clear away all personal items, including furniture. Ask our staff if you aren’t sure if something belongs to us.
You might find items that were provided by Social Care – for example, bathing equipment or trolleys. You will need to contact Social Care to arrange to return them.
If we have to pay to remove any items, we will pass the cost back to you.
You must tell the Council the date your friend or family member died.
You can use the ‘Tell us once’ service (see below), or contact the Council direct.
Your friend or family member’s eligibility for Housing Benefit payments will stop at the end of the week following their death. So, while you are clearing the flat, the full rent and service charge will be due.
You will not need to pay further Council Tax.
You will need to contact any electricity and gas suppliers to give a reading at the end of the tenancy. You should also arrange for any landline phone to be disconnected.
You will need to pay any money still owed.
Our rent periods end on a Sunday. We will stop charging you rent and service charges if you return the keys by noon on Monday. Otherwise we will charge for another week.
If too much rent has been paid, write to us asking for a refund and setting out where and to whom we should send the cheque.
You will need a copy of the death certificate and some proof that you are the right person to make this claim.
Please return the keys to our office: Energy Centre, 31 Church Hill, Walthamstow E17 3RU. The office is open on weekdays from 9am to 5pm.
We will ask you to sign a form to end the tenancy and to pay any outstanding rent and charges.
Waltham Forest Council operates a ‘Tell us once’ service that allows you to notify the death to all relevant local and central government agencies at the same time. You can do this online or by making a phone call. This service does not include telling WFHA – as we are a separate organisation.
When you register your friend or family member’s death, the registrar will explain the service and give you the unique code you need.
The overall scheme is explained on the YouGov website here.
There is a useful ‘to-do’ list for next-of-kin on the AgeUK website.
Waltham Forest Register Office
106 Grove Road
Walthamstow E17 9BY
Phone: 020 8496 3000
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 9am to 4.30pm. You can book an appointment by phone or online
Most of Waltham Forest’s police stations have already closed, or are due to close.
To report a non-emergency or to find out where there is still a counter service in your area, call 101.
Whipps Cross University Hospital
Whipps Cross Road
Phone: 020 3416 5000
For Council services (including Housing Benefit, Council Tax)
Most services are now dealt with online. Go to the London Borough of Waltham Forest website.
Alternatively, visit a Library Plus branch to speak to council staff. Opening times are: Monday to Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am to 6pm and Sunday 12 noon to 4pm.
Library Plus branches:
Leyton E19 5QH
North Chingford Library
Chingford E4 7EN
Walthamstow E17 7JN
6 Church Lane
Leytonstone E11 1HG
Social Services Adult Social Care
Phone: 020 8496 3000
Minicom: 020 8496 3010
Advice Waltham Forest
220 Hoe Street
Walthamstow E17 3AY
Phone 0300 330 1175
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm, 2-4pm
To access this service, phone, email or drop in to ask for a call back.