Housing group sends tenancy termination letter days after resident had died

Mytholm Meadows, Hebden Bridge
Mytholm Meadows, Hebden Bridge

A woman has slammed a housing group after it sent a ‘termination of tenancy’ letter to her friend who died just days earlier.

Clive Hills, who lived at Mytholm Meadows, Hebden Bridge, died on June 3 after going into hospital for an operation.

Claire Eastwood was listed as his next of kin and says she was left “disgusted” when the letter from Together Housing Group arrived - with Mr Hill’s name at the top.

Ms Eastwood, 61, of Greetland, claims Together Housing knew he had died before sending out the letter.

But Together Housing Group has said it was a mistake and they were “extremely sorry” for distress caused.

Ms Eastwood said: “I was just in shock. His death was not expected, he had just gone in for a routine operation and he died right in front of me

“I spent most of the day trying not to think about it.”

The letter stated: “We acknowledge receipt of your notice to terminate your tenancy at the above address on Sunday 2nd July.

“Your tenancy will end at midnight on this date and your rent will be due up to this date.

“We will arrange to meet you before your tenancy ends. This will allow us to explain your tenancy obligations on termination and allow us to discuss any outstanding issues relating to your tenancy.”

A compliments slip was also attached to the letter which said: “Please sign and return the notice of termination form, please also send a copy of the death certificate.”

Ms Eastwood has now called for the company to have a bereavement officer to deal with these kind of scenarios.

Janette Taylor, Head of customer services for Together Housing, said: “We are sorry to hear of the death of one of our tenants, and our condolences and thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

“Whilst we do place a great care in dealing with the ending of tenancies sensitively when a tenant has passed away, on this occasion, a mistake has clearly happened and we are extremely sorry for the understandable distress this has caused.

“We would like to reassure Ms Eastwood that we will look into the reason why this happened to ensure we learn from it and avoid this happening again.

“We would, of course, be happy to meet with Ms Eastwood to offer a personal apology and talk through matters directly should she like to do so.”

Councillor Marilyn Greenwood (Liberal Democrat, Greetland and Stainland), said she had been looking into another similar case.

She said she had been speaking to Together Housing, which had responded well, and that she would stay with the issue until she had written confirmation it won’t happen again