Navigation & Progress of 34 Steps
47%

Step 16 - Clear the Home or Residence

Last updated: June 2019

Why is this important?

This step explains how to approach the clearing of the home or residence of the deceased person and take the necessary actions to stop any rental, nursing home or care services and related charges as soon as possible to save money.

 

simplyEstate is here to help with the process. Contact us via email or book a first free phone appointment.

Approximate Effort & Cost

Reading: 20 mins
Completing: 3-10 days
Total: 3-10 days
Cost: $500-$3,000

Effort and cost are general estimates only and are based on the assumption that you complete this step without specialist help.

Instructions

To find out how this Process Guide works, access the instructions here.

Glossary

To find out what the capitalised words mean, access the glossary here.

Forms

Sole Tenant

Bond Claim Form, which you need to generate through the online RTBA Online tool; and

Statutory Declaration

 

Joint Tenant

Bond Transfer Form or a Bond Claim Form, which you need to generate through the online RTBA Online tool

Sole Tenant

Form 4Refund of rental bond

 

Joint Tenant

Form 6Change of bond contributors

Other forms not listed here may be required based on your specific circumstances.

Legislation

Legislation shown may not be comprehensive and other legislation and rules may apply to your specific circumstances.

16.1 Overview

If the deceased person passed away without leaving a spouse, dependants or other persons living together, the last residence of the deceased can be cleared after stock of all items was taken as described in Step 15 – Prepare an Assets & Liabilities Inventory to:

  • hand back the rental property or residence if it was rented;
  • prepare the property to be prepared to be rented out if owned;
  • prepare the property to be valued (see Step 17) if owned; and/or
  • update the simplyEstate Assets & Liabilities Inventory.

Contents
16.2 General Considerations
16.3 Specific Items Willed to a Beneficiary
16.4 Value the Contents
16.5 Rental Property
16.6 Nursing or Care Home
16.7 Owned House or Apartment
16.8 Actions and Decisions to Complete Step

16.2 General Considerations

Before launching into this step, it is important to be aware of certain aspects surrounding the home or final residence of the deceased.

 

For the mourning family, the home or residence will remind them of their loved one and hence returning to that place can be very emotional. Bear in mind that the family may want to spend some time in the deceased person’s residence as part of their mourning process and for closure.

 

Furthermore, personal belongings and other items found in the home or residence may have great sentimental value to individuals. The desire to take possession of certain items by a Beneficiary is very likely.
As the Executor or Administrator, it is your responsibility to explain that all the deceased person’s items form part of the estate and can only be distributed once officially recorded and divided after the total value of the estate is known unless specifically willed to a Beneficiary as outlined below in Step 16.3 – Specific Items Willed to a Beneficiary. Removing an item from the deceased’ estate may be considered a crime if it is disputed by other Beneficiaries.
It is important to complete and update the simplyEstate Assets & Liabilities Inventory as soon as possible and continuously to have a full view of all items that make up the estate.

 

Before moving anything, it may be essential to put in place home & contents insurance if not already done. This will protect you as the Executor or Administrator and all Beneficiaries of the estate during the administration process, which often extends beyond six months.

 

Switch off any electrical equipment that are not required to save electricity and ensure that any perishable goods are removed from fridges, freezers and any other storage.

 

If time is of the essence, furniture and belongings can be packed and stored in another location while the deceased estate is being assessed and prepared for distribution by the Executor.

16.3 Specific Items Willed to a Beneficiary

Notwithstanding Step 16.2, if the Will names specific items that are intended for a Beneficiary, it may be easiest if those Beneficiaries are asked to collect the specific items as soon as possible. If the item can be identified, the Beneficiary may take possession of the item without waiting for division of the deceased estate.


Note: We recommend you take note or a photograph of the item, the Beneficiary’s name, date and signature in case a claim for that item is made at a later stage.

 

All other items that are not specifically willed, form part of the estate and will be distributed once the total value of the estate is known.

16.4 Value the Contents

All contents of the deceased person’s last residence, or the remaining contents after the Beneficiaries have taken possession of willed items, should be valued by a professional valuer.
As the Executor or Administrator, you should discuss and agree with the Beneficiaries whether or not those remaining contents are to be sold for cash or retained and distributed to Beneficiaries.

 

From experience, cash is easier to distribute so long as items with a sentimental value were identified before the sale and were communicated to all Beneficiaries with sufficient notice to provide opportunity to claim such items.

16.5 Rental Property

If the deceased lived in a rental property, you most likely want to clear the residence as soon as possible and restore it to its original condition. You can then hand back the property to the managing agent or proprietor and stop paying rent.

 

If you want to accelerate the clearance, you can pack and store all the furnishings, chattels and personal belongings at a storage facility while the estate is being administered.

 

You may need to:

  • find out who the letting agent is and inform them in writing of the death;
  • request a copy of the rental agreement if you need to determine if the agreement was signed by the deceased person solely as a sole tenant or jointly with another person as joint tenants; and
  • understand your state’s legislation as outlined below to determine notice periods and bond claims.

Consumer Protection – Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

Phone: 1300 853 829
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm AWST
Address: Level 2 (Reception), 140 William Street (please use the public entrance off Railway Lane from the Murray Street Mall), Perth, WA
Email: [email protected]
Post: Bond Administrator, Locked Bag 14, Cloisters Square WA 6850

 

Sole Tenant
The rental agreement ends on the date of the death and you should notify the landlord or letting agent to organise the clearing and hand-over of the property to stop the rental charges.

RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 1987 (WA) Section 60, Paragraph (h) (Austl.) (accessed 22/7/2018)

 

Relevant Documents
The bond can be claimed by completing and providing a Disposal of Security Bond Form with;

Joint Tenant
The rental agreement continues as agreed between the surviving joint tenant and the landlord.

RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 1987 (WA) Section 59B (Austl.) (accessed 22/7/2018)

 

Relevant Documents
The portion of the bond belonging to the deceased person can be claimed as stated above or transferred to the surviving joint tenant by completing and providing a Variation of Security Bond Form with;

  • a copy of the Death Certificate;
  • a copy of the Will; and
  • a copy of the Executor’s proof of identity;
    or
  • a copy of the Grant of Probate (see Step 27 – Apply for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration); and
  • a copy of the Executor’s proof of identity.

Website

The Consumer Protection – Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website can be accessed here.

Fair Trading NSW

Phone: 13 32 20
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm AEST
Address: Service NSW Centre near you can be found here
Email: [email protected]
Post: Locked Bag 9000, Grafton NSW 2460

 

Sole tenant
The rental agreement ends when the Executor, Administrator or Next of Kin provides written notice to the landlord or its agent. Once the property was cleared and handed over, no further rent is payable.

 

RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 2010 (NSW) Section 108 (Austl.) (accessed 22/7/2018)

 

Relevant Documents
The bond can be requested from Fair Trading by completing and providing:

and one of the following:

Joint Tenant
The rental agreement may either continue as agreed between the surviving joint tenant and the landlord or the surviving joint tenant may give written notice to end the contract in 21 days or more, irrelevant if the rental agreement was for a fixed period or ongoing.

 

RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 2010 (NSW) Section 78 (Austl.) (accessed 22/7/2018)

 

The portion of the bond belonging to the deceased person can be claimed as stated above like a sole tenant or transferred to the surviving joint tenant by completing and providing:

and one of the following:

Website
The Fair Trading NSW website can be accessed here.

Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA)

Phone: 1300 137 164
Opening Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm AEST
Lodge Online: You can lodge here
Address: Find an RTBA near you here
Email: [email protected]
Post: RTBA, Locked Bag 007, Wendouree VIC 3355

 

Sole Tenant
The rental agreement ends:

  • 28 days after the Executor, Administrator or Next of Kin provide written notice of the death;
  • 28 days after the landlord gives the Executor, Administrator or Next of Kin written notice to vacate;
  • on a date agreed in writing between the landlord and the Executor, Administrator or Next of Kin; or
  • on a date determined by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 1997 (VIC) Section 228 (Austl.) (accessed 22/7/2018)

 

Relevant Documents
The bond can be claimed from the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority by printing, completing and providing:

  • a Bond Claim form, which you need to generate through the online RTBA Online tool by entering the bond number and the deceased person’s name;
  • a Statutory Declaration – Statutory Declaration by Legal Representative or Next of Kin;

and one of the following:

  • Death Certificate;
  • Probate certificate (see Step 27 – Apply for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration);
  • Cremation certificate;
  • Funeral notice (invoice);
  • Statement from a Doctor/hospital;
  • Notice from Centrelink confirming date of death;
  • Report for coroner; or
  • Interim Death Certificate.

Please ensure that you as the Executor, Administrator or Next of Kin sign on behalf of the deceased tenant on both the ‘Bond Claim’ form and Statutory Declaration.

 

Joint Tenant
The rental agreement continues as agreed between the surviving joint tenant and the landlord.

 

The portion of the bond belonging to the deceased person can only be transferred to the surviving joint tenant or be paid out in full together with the portion of the surviving joint tenant’s bond.
Partial bond claims can only be made in arrangement with the surviving joint tenant or by applying to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

 

Relevant Documents
To transfer the bond to the surviving joint tenant, the surviving joint tenant can complete a Bond Transfer form or a Bond Claim form, which you need to generate through the online RTBA Online tool by entering the bond number and the tenant’s name;
and one of the following:

Please ensure that only the surviving joint tenant signs these documents and not the Executor, Administrator or Next of Kin.

 

If you don’t have access to a printer, you can email the RTBA at [email protected] with your specific bond number, tenant name and postal address and the form will be posted to you within 14 days.

 

Website
The Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) website can be accessed here.

Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA)

Phone: 1300 366 311
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5:00pm AEST
Lodge online: You can lodge here
Email: [email protected]
Post: RTA, GPO Box 390, Brisbane QLD 4001

 

Sole Tenant
The rental agreement ends on the earliest of the following:

  • 14 days after the Executor, Administrator or Next of Kin notifies the landlord in writing to end the agreement because of the death;
  • 14 days after the landlord notifies the Executor, Administrator or Next of Kin in writing to end the agreement because of the death;
  • the day agreed between the landlord and the Executor, Administrator of Next of Kin;
  • the day decided by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) after application by the landlord; or
  • if none of the above were done, the agreement ends one month after the tenant’s death.

RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES AND ROOMING ACCOMMODATION ACT 2008 (QLD) Section 277, Paragraphs 7-8 (Austl.) (accessed 24/7/2018)

 

Relevant Documents
The bond can be requested from the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) by completing and providing:

  • Form 4Refund of rental bond;

and one of the following:

  • a Death Certificate; or
  • an Interim Death Certificate;
    and one of the following:
  • copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (see Step 27 – Apply for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration); or
  • original Statutory Declaration.

Joint Tenant
The rental agreement continues as agreed between the surviving joint tenant and the landlord.
RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES AND ROOMING ACCOMMODATION ACT 2008 (QLD) Section 244 (Austl.) (accessed 24/7/2018)

 

Relevant Documents
The portion of the bond belonging to the deceased person can only be claimed from the surviving joint tenant directly after the surviving joint tenant completes and provides:

  • Form 6Change of bond contributors;

and one of the following:

Website
The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) website can be accessed here.

simplyEstate is here to help.

Contact us via email or book your free first phone appointment.

16.6 Nursing or Care Home

If the deceased lived in a nursing home, you most likely want to clear the residence as soon as possible to hand back the room and stop payments.

Make sure you check the agreement and determine the notice period agreed to. If you cannot find the contract, the nursing home can provide you with a copy that was signed by the deceased.

 

If you want to accelerate the clearance, you can pack and store all the furnishings, chattels and personal belongings at a storage facility while the estate is being administered.

16.7 Owned House or Apartment

If the deceased lived in their own home, you may not want to or need to clear the residence immediately. The Beneficiaries may agree to clear the home and rent it out to generate income for the estate during the administration or sell. If this is the path you want to explore, it is recommended you seek advice from a tax specialist as some tax rules may apply once the real estate is used to generate income as an investment.

 

If you want to accelerate the clearance, you can pack and store all the furnishings, chattels and personal belongings at a storage facility while the estate is being administered.

 

Beware of pressure tactics by buyers who may approach you with a below-market offer who may be taking advantage of your situation. Always get a comprehensive valuation done by at least two specialists as outlined in the next Step 17 – Value the Home & Arrange for Rent or Sale.

16.8 Actions and Decisions to Complete Step

If you would like a little help from us at simplyEstate with this Step, you can email us or book your free first phone appointment. If you would like specialist help, get in touch with one of our Specialist Partners listed in the yellow section to the right or below and see how they can help.

 

If you have decided to tackle this Step yourself after reading and understanding this Step, you may want to:

  1. Identify and hand-over specific items to the Beneficiaries noted in the Will (if available);
  2. Decide if you will pack and store items to vacate the home or residence as soon as possible;
  3. Decide if Beneficiaries prefer to inherit the remaining household items or prefer these to be sold so the cash proceeds can be distributed when the estate is finalised;
  4. Inform the real estate agent, nursing or care home of the death as outlined in Steps 16.5 – 16.6;
  5. Put in place home & contents insurance to protect you, the Beneficiaries and the deceased estate from damage, theft or any other insurable events;
  6. Clear the home or residence;
  7. Read the following Step 17 – Value the Home & Arrange for Rent or Sale to help decide if the owned real estate will be kept vacant, rented out or sold;
  8. Seek tax advice before renting or selling the property (see Step 28 – Request Tax Advice for Effective Distribution); and
  9. Update the simplyEstate Assets & Liabilities Inventory to reflect all items and values.

Once you have completed all the necessary actions and decisions, you can move on to the next Step by clicking below or save progress at the top.

Do you need specialist help?

simplyEstate has partnered with select Specialists across Australia to assist you.

 

You can click on your State/Territory to find a suitable Specialist and get in touch to discuss how they can help you.

Contents Valuers

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

Cleaners

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

Removalists

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

Storage Providers

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

 

simplyEstate Specialist Partner Listings coming soon in 2019.

Get in Touch

  the simplyEstate logo contains the name with three overlapping circles in red, blue and yellow colours to symbolise an integrated process and progress  

If you would like to speak to us about this Step, discuss how to engage a Specialist Partner or need support, book a Phone Appointment now.

simplyEstate is here to help.

 

Help us improve this step

If you have worked through this step and found something that could be added, is not quite right or you think may no longer apply, please let us now.

We will not share your details. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website as outlined in the Privacy Policy, which is available here.

What other users say

“This is a very useful guide! As the Executor of a family friends estate, this was my go-to place for information and the services provided by the recommended tax accountant and removalists was great.”

Andrew Zhao
Melbourne
“It is a lot of materials at first but I quickly understood why. estate administration can be tricky but thanks to simplyestate, we were able to deal with my brother’s affairs in a a few months. Thank you for your help…”

Maria Stamoulis
Sydney
“simplyEstate has helped me and my family during a very difficult time after the loss of my mother. We were lost initially and don’t know how we could’ve managed without this excellent resource, thank you very much!”

Jane Winters
Perth

Save Your Progress

bar with red blue and yellow sections

Thank you for using our Process Guide
Enter your email address below and we will send you this link. That way you can easily find your way back and continue where you left off.

We may send you some useful information and a reminder, for your convenience. You can unsubscribe any time.

We will not share your details. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website as outlined in the Privacy Policy, which is available here.