If a person dies whilst in a rolling contract, and payments are still taken from the account for a few months,would the company be legally forced to return the money to the account?

  • @BlueDogRanch As far as I can tell, "decedent" is not a commonly-understood word; the web suggests it is a US legal term. How would you feel about "the deceased" instead? Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


Short version: No. The deceased tenant's estate remains liable for the rent until the tenancy is ended, typically by the person representing the estate giving notice to the landlord to end the tenancy.

Long version:

This article by Tessa J Shepperson on the Landlord Law Blog covers this in some detail.

Quoting the relevant parts:

First off – a tenancy does not end when the tenant dies. What happens depends on the circumstances.

Regarding periodic (rolling) tenancies:

If there is no-one eligible to succeed to the tenancy under the ‘succession’ provisions of the Rent Act 1977 or the Housing Act 1988, then the tenancy will, as with a fixed term tenancy, pass to the tenant’s Personal Representatives as part of his estate.


If the tenancy is a periodic one, then the Personal Representatives will be able to serve a notice to quit on the landlord and end the tenancy that way.


What usually happens if that the landlord will want to take the property back and re-let it. However he does not have the right to just do this, unless this is with agreement with the tenant’s Personal Representatives.

  • What if the contract doesn't concern a tenancy?
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 16:27
  • It may depend on the terms of the contract, or on the relevant area of law. (I assumed a tenancy, as the term "rolling contract" is commonly used to refer to a periodic tenancy). Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 16:30
  • The other place they are common is mobile-phone and broadband contracts. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 16:34

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