Dead Southend woman sent notice to quit home

Distressed – Michael and Colvina Sexton outside the home and inset, Hilda Sexton

Distressed – Michael and Colvina Sexton outside the home and inset, Hilda Sexton

First published in News by

A GRIEVING family has hit out at “insensitive” council housing managers who sent an eviction letter to a woman they knew had died.

Hilda Sexton’s son and daughter-in-law may also have to pay hundreds of pounds for the outstanding rent at her home in Peartree Close, Southend.

Mrs Sexton died three weeks after her 100th birthday, on March 27, and although her benefits were stopped the day she died, South Essex Homes is likely to charge the family rent for the five- week notice period.

Michael Sexton, 67, and his wife Colvina, 66, of Saxon Gardens, Shoebury, also said South Essex Homes needed lessons in compassion after having to fill out forms explaining his beloved mother had died.

Colvina, said: “South Essex Homes, in its usual robotic way, has shown no compassion at all. It treats people like they are pieces of meat.

“The letter was totally insensitive.

We had to fill in a form which made us spell out that our relative had died and it was grim.

“Hilda was a very strong and feisty woman. There was no mincing of words with my mother in law.

“If she had known what was happening she would be very worried and upset. She has been a model tenant for 70 years, never paid late, and this is a slap in the face.

“We had been through quite a lot over the past four or five weeks and this really didn’t help matters. Then we got a notice to quit letter which was the last straw.

“Why do they need to send that when they know they are getting the tenancy back?”

South Essex Homes, which manages council houses on behalf of Southend Council, has launched an investigation and will now create a separate form for grieving families.

Its spokesman said: “We were sorry to learn the family of one of our former tenants were disappointed with the response they received after they notified us of the death of the tenant.

“There are certain legal processes which need to be completed each time a tenancy is terminated, for whatever reason, including where the tenant is deceased.

“A Notification to Terminate Tenancy form needs to be completed and this leads toaNotice to Quit being served.

“In cases where the tenant is deceased, these processes are carried out through the executor of the estate. When family members are acting as executors, we send a letter expressing our condolences and explaining the processes we are legally bound to follow in the circumstances.

“We have received a formal complaint which is being investigated so we are unable to comment further on this case.

“However, all feedback is valued and we have made the decision to create two different termination forms for future use, one for tenants transferring or leaving accommodation and one for tenants who have died.”

Comments (20)

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9:10am Fri 25 Apr 14

poortaxpayer says...

South Essex Homes are following the same procedures every other landlord has to follow to claim back their property after the death of a tenant. Weirdly tenancies don't end when a tenant dies. The next of kin or executor of the estate are the ones who have to end the tenancy although I thought housing officers had the discretion to end the tenancy earlier than the 4 week notice period once the deceased belongings had been removed.
South Essex Homes are following the same procedures every other landlord has to follow to claim back their property after the death of a tenant. Weirdly tenancies don't end when a tenant dies. The next of kin or executor of the estate are the ones who have to end the tenancy although I thought housing officers had the discretion to end the tenancy earlier than the 4 week notice period once the deceased belongings had been removed. poortaxpayer
  • Score: 12

9:11am Fri 25 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

sounds like a storm in tea cup.....when people die, unwelcome administration follows.... 100+ is fair innings
sounds like a storm in tea cup.....when people die, unwelcome administration follows.... 100+ is fair innings pembury53
  • Score: 7

11:58am Fri 25 Apr 14

Hildasfamily says...

Whilst I am quite aware of the "unpleasant administration" which follows someone's death(I have done it 3 times before following the demise of our other parents), my main issue is with the Termination of Tenancy form. The first 2 questions are "Forwarding Address" and "Reason for Termination" and I will admit I replied Southend Crematorium and Death respectively. It didn't seem too much to ask that a separate form is made available for bereaved families, which I now understand will be the case. I would point out that my mother-in-law's age had nothing to do with my complaint.
Whilst I am quite aware of the "unpleasant administration" which follows someone's death(I have done it 3 times before following the demise of our other parents), my main issue is with the Termination of Tenancy form. The first 2 questions are "Forwarding Address" and "Reason for Termination" and I will admit I replied Southend Crematorium and Death respectively. It didn't seem too much to ask that a separate form is made available for bereaved families, which I now understand will be the case. I would point out that my mother-in-law's age had nothing to do with my complaint. Hildasfamily
  • Score: 13

12:26pm Fri 25 Apr 14

sesibollox says...

Obviously an error, don't make a meal out of it.
Obviously an error, don't make a meal out of it. sesibollox
  • Score: -9

12:52pm Fri 25 Apr 14

CarnMountification says...

Must be upsetting, my thoughts to these people.
Must be upsetting, my thoughts to these people. CarnMountification
  • Score: 5

1:49pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Mattster says...

They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.
They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does. Mattster
  • Score: 15

3:04pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

"South Essex Homes, which manages council houses on behalf of Southend Council, has launched an investigation and will now create a separate form for grieving families.''

Shutting the stable door a bit too late eh..
"South Essex Homes, which manages council houses on behalf of Southend Council, has launched an investigation and will now create a separate form for grieving families.'' Shutting the stable door a bit too late eh.. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -4

3:23pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Hildasfamily says...

Mattster wrote:
They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.
What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate.
[quote][p][bold]Mattster[/bold] wrote: They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.[/p][/quote]What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate. Hildasfamily
  • Score: 9

3:32pm Fri 25 Apr 14

the25man says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
"South Essex Homes, which manages council houses on behalf of Southend Council, has launched an investigation and will now create a separate form for grieving families.''

Shutting the stable door a bit too late eh..
The same forms will have been used for some time and this has now been pointed out that the form is not suitable in this type of case so South Essex Homes take it on board and prepared to change. If nobody tells you things are not right how do you know you are doing wrong.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: "South Essex Homes, which manages council houses on behalf of Southend Council, has launched an investigation and will now create a separate form for grieving families.'' Shutting the stable door a bit too late eh..[/p][/quote]The same forms will have been used for some time and this has now been pointed out that the form is not suitable in this type of case so South Essex Homes take it on board and prepared to change. If nobody tells you things are not right how do you know you are doing wrong. the25man
  • Score: 4

3:49pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

Hildasfamily wrote:
Whilst I am quite aware of the "unpleasant administration" which follows someone's death(I have done it 3 times before following the demise of our other parents), my main issue is with the Termination of Tenancy form. The first 2 questions are "Forwarding Address" and "Reason for Termination" and I will admit I replied Southend Crematorium and Death respectively. It didn't seem too much to ask that a separate form is made available for bereaved families, which I now understand will be the case. I would point out that my mother-in-law's age had nothing to do with my complaint.
....and you should not have to justify yourself to anybody here.

You are right, it is not too much to ask for a separate form. It's hardly rocket science to create a document for something as sensitive as that.

Ignore some of the more stupid people around here.

I wish you and your family well.
[quote][p][bold]Hildasfamily[/bold] wrote: Whilst I am quite aware of the "unpleasant administration" which follows someone's death(I have done it 3 times before following the demise of our other parents), my main issue is with the Termination of Tenancy form. The first 2 questions are "Forwarding Address" and "Reason for Termination" and I will admit I replied Southend Crematorium and Death respectively. It didn't seem too much to ask that a separate form is made available for bereaved families, which I now understand will be the case. I would point out that my mother-in-law's age had nothing to do with my complaint.[/p][/quote]....and you should not have to justify yourself to anybody here. You are right, it is not too much to ask for a separate form. It's hardly rocket science to create a document for something as sensitive as that. Ignore some of the more stupid people around here. I wish you and your family well. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 5

4:21pm Fri 25 Apr 14

runwellian says...

If the lady has no estate, then her debts die with her.

Born free, taxed to death!
If the lady has no estate, then her debts die with her. Born free, taxed to death! runwellian
  • Score: 8

4:46pm Fri 25 Apr 14

jolllyboy says...

Inappropriate forms = inappropriate management.
South Essex Homes are undergoing changes. The council are looking to them to be self-sufficient and with that in view SEH are forming a new company called Atilius.This means that any work SEH do outside of Southend will come under this company. Any profits to be transferred to help SEH complete work on council properties. Reduced board and a more commercial approach, with a liason person between SEH Board and the new company.
In a nutshell what is the ultimate aim here? I will follow this with interest.
Inappropriate forms = inappropriate management. South Essex Homes are undergoing changes. The council are looking to them to be self-sufficient and with that in view SEH are forming a new company called Atilius.This means that any work SEH do outside of Southend will come under this company. Any profits to be transferred to help SEH complete work on council properties. Reduced board and a more commercial approach, with a liason person between SEH Board and the new company. In a nutshell what is the ultimate aim here? I will follow this with interest. jolllyboy
  • Score: -4

9:35pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Idontknowy says...

So now you have to give notice to die
So now you have to give notice to die Idontknowy
  • Score: -1

9:40pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Mattster says...

Hildasfamily wrote:
Mattster wrote:
They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.
What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate.
So nothing to pay.
[quote][p][bold]Hildasfamily[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mattster[/bold] wrote: They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.[/p][/quote]What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate.[/p][/quote]So nothing to pay. Mattster
  • Score: 2

9:48pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Mattster says...

Mattster wrote:
Hildasfamily wrote:
Mattster wrote:
They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.
What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate.
So nothing to pay.
And my condolences.
[quote][p][bold]Mattster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hildasfamily[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mattster[/bold] wrote: They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.[/p][/quote]What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate.[/p][/quote]So nothing to pay.[/p][/quote]And my condolences. Mattster
  • Score: 2

9:59pm Fri 25 Apr 14

the25man says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Hildasfamily wrote:
Whilst I am quite aware of the "unpleasant administration" which follows someone's death(I have done it 3 times before following the demise of our other parents), my main issue is with the Termination of Tenancy form. The first 2 questions are "Forwarding Address" and "Reason for Termination" and I will admit I replied Southend Crematorium and Death respectively. It didn't seem too much to ask that a separate form is made available for bereaved families, which I now understand will be the case. I would point out that my mother-in-law's age had nothing to do with my complaint.
....and you should not have to justify yourself to anybody here.

You are right, it is not too much to ask for a separate form. It's hardly rocket science to create a document for something as sensitive as that.

Ignore some of the more stupid people around here.

I wish you and your family well.
Kim you don't know what it takes to create a document that is a corporate form.
The Council and South Essex Homes have pro forma documents gone through by many different departments before it is used. It has now been shown that in some cases this particular form has sections in it not suitable, but at least SEH are looking into it and no doubt will alter the form or create a suitable form
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hildasfamily[/bold] wrote: Whilst I am quite aware of the "unpleasant administration" which follows someone's death(I have done it 3 times before following the demise of our other parents), my main issue is with the Termination of Tenancy form. The first 2 questions are "Forwarding Address" and "Reason for Termination" and I will admit I replied Southend Crematorium and Death respectively. It didn't seem too much to ask that a separate form is made available for bereaved families, which I now understand will be the case. I would point out that my mother-in-law's age had nothing to do with my complaint.[/p][/quote]....and you should not have to justify yourself to anybody here. You are right, it is not too much to ask for a separate form. It's hardly rocket science to create a document for something as sensitive as that. Ignore some of the more stupid people around here. I wish you and your family well.[/p][/quote]Kim you don't know what it takes to create a document that is a corporate form. The Council and South Essex Homes have pro forma documents gone through by many different departments before it is used. It has now been shown that in some cases this particular form has sections in it not suitable, but at least SEH are looking into it and no doubt will alter the form or create a suitable form the25man
  • Score: 1

11:37pm Fri 25 Apr 14

poortaxpayer says...

Idontknowy wrote:
So now you have to give notice to die
No the exors or next of kin have to give notice when all belongings will be removed and the tenancy ceases. A tenancy does not cease when the person dies the exor or next of kin has to cancel it. Same procedure across the country.
[quote][p][bold]Idontknowy[/bold] wrote: So now you have to give notice to die[/p][/quote]No the exors or next of kin have to give notice when all belongings will be removed and the tenancy ceases. A tenancy does not cease when the person dies the exor or next of kin has to cancel it. Same procedure across the country. poortaxpayer
  • Score: 2

1:35pm Sat 26 Apr 14

poortaxpayer says...

Hildasfamily wrote:
Mattster wrote:
They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.
What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate.
No savings in the bank, unspent benefits, no belongings, no outstanding bills, no credits to be refunded etc etc?
[quote][p][bold]Hildasfamily[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mattster[/bold] wrote: They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.[/p][/quote]What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate.[/p][/quote]No savings in the bank, unspent benefits, no belongings, no outstanding bills, no credits to be refunded etc etc? poortaxpayer
  • Score: 1

1:38pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Hildasfamily says...

poortaxpayer wrote:
Hildasfamily wrote:
Mattster wrote:
They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.
What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate.
No savings in the bank, unspent benefits, no belongings, no outstanding bills, no credits to be refunded etc etc?
No outstanding benefits(they have to be paid back), no savings, nothing worth selling, outstanding gas and electricity bills are being paid by us.
[quote][p][bold]poortaxpayer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hildasfamily[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mattster[/bold] wrote: They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.[/p][/quote]What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate.[/p][/quote]No savings in the bank, unspent benefits, no belongings, no outstanding bills, no credits to be refunded etc etc?[/p][/quote]No outstanding benefits(they have to be paid back), no savings, nothing worth selling, outstanding gas and electricity bills are being paid by us. Hildasfamily
  • Score: 0

9:52pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Mattster says...

Hildasfamily wrote:
poortaxpayer wrote:
Hildasfamily wrote:
Mattster wrote:
They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.
What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate.
No savings in the bank, unspent benefits, no belongings, no outstanding bills, no credits to be refunded etc etc?
No outstanding benefits(they have to be paid back), no savings, nothing worth selling, outstanding gas and electricity bills are being paid by us.
You have no need to pay any utility bills unless they were in your name, please save your money. Debt cannot be passed down in this way.
[quote][p][bold]Hildasfamily[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]poortaxpayer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hildasfamily[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mattster[/bold] wrote: They family dont have to pay a penny, the estate of the deceased does.[/p][/quote]What estate? She was on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. There is no Estate.[/p][/quote]No savings in the bank, unspent benefits, no belongings, no outstanding bills, no credits to be refunded etc etc?[/p][/quote]No outstanding benefits(they have to be paid back), no savings, nothing worth selling, outstanding gas and electricity bills are being paid by us.[/p][/quote]You have no need to pay any utility bills unless they were in your name, please save your money. Debt cannot be passed down in this way. Mattster
  • Score: 2

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