Ask Lorraine – My sole trader letting agent has died and his accounts are frozen!!

🙋 Landlord’s Question: 

“I’m a landlord of two houses. I use an agent to manage them. He is a sole trader and really the business is him. RIP
He was a terrific man and sadly he died last week.
I spoke with his widow when the rent for one of the houses didn’t come to me. She explained about his death and that the bank account to which the rents go to have been frozen by the bank.
I want to support her as much as I can, but at the same time need to ensure that I can recover any monies due to me and all future monies are not frozen.
Can you help?”

ask Lorraine

Lorraine’s Answer

This is very sad for all concerned.

If he was a sole trader, then all contracts that you had with him ceased at the point he died.
If the account was frozen, the tenant should have had the money returned to them. However, if any money is still sitting in his account owable to you, you may find it trickier to claim, although I am sure that his executor will be cooperative.
I think that the money might need to be returned to the tenant and for you to then have them pay you directly.
Obviously important to get new payment details to the tenants as well.

As he was a sole trader, anything he owed to you must now be paid to you by his estate. Write to the executor and / or his wife asking for the money, albeit with some tact.

As the management contract was ended by his death, you are free to make arrangements with any other agent you wish.

Until next week.

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