If a tenant or landlord dies

Skip listen and sharing tools

On this page:

If a sole tenant dies

If a sole tenant (the only tenant on a lease) dies, the lease ends on the earliest of the following dates:

  • 28 days after the deceased tenant’s legal representative (executor or administrator) or next of kin gives the landlord written notice of the death, or
  • 28 days after the landlord gives the deceased tenant’s legal representative or next of kin written notice to vacate, or
  • a date agreed in writing between the landlord and the deceased tenant’s legal representative or next of kin, or
  • a date determined by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

If the landlord gives notice to the deceased tenant’s legal representative or next of kin, they should use the Notice to vacate to tenant/s of rented premises (Word, 760KB).

If a landlord cannot contact the deceased tenant’s legal representative or next of kin, they can apply to VCAT for an order to end the lease.

Claiming or transferring the bond when a sole tenant has died

If the deceased tenant or resident was the only person registered to the bond, the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) will require:

  • a Bond Claim form or Tenant Transfer form, completed and signed by both the landlord and the deceased tenant’s legal representative or next of kin
  • proof of death. Acceptable documents include a full death certificate, an interim death certificate issued by the Coroner, an invoice from the funeral director, or a probate or letters of administration
  • a statutory declaration from the deceased tenant’s legal representative or next of kin. The person who signed the Bond Claim or Tenant Transfer form on behalf of the deceased tenant must sign the Statutory declaration by legal representative or next of kin (PDF, 17KB).

For forms and more information, view:

If the tenant’s legal representative or next of kin cannot agree with the landlord on the division of the bond, either party may apply to VCAT for a determination.

Goods left behind 

When a tenant or resident dies, their legal representative or next of kin are responsible for collecting any goods left behind.

If a landlord believes there is no next of kin, they should follow the procedures set out on our Goods left behind page.

This may include contacting us to arrange an inspection of goods left behind. The landlord may take the report of this inspection to the State Trustees, who will distribute the deceased tenant's possessions.

If a co-tenant dies

If a co-tenant (joint tenant) dies, this does not automatically end the lease. The remaining co-tenants’ rights and responsibilities continue under the tenancy agreement.

Claiming the bond when a co-tenant has died

If a tenant or resident who is registered as a joint bond-holder dies, their share of the bond passes to the surviving co-tenant(s).

To release or transfer the bond, the RTBA will require:

  • a Bond Claim form or Tenant Transfer form, completed and signed by both the landlord and the surviving co-tenant(s)
  • proof of death. Acceptable documents include a full death certificate, an interim death certificate issued by the Coroner, an invoice from the funeral director, or a probate or letters of administration.

For forms and more information, view:

If a landlord dies

If a landlord dies, this does not automatically end the lease. The landlord's legal representative or next of kin takes on the landlord’s rights and responsibilities under the existing tenancy agreement.

Claiming the bond if a landlord has died

To release or transfer the bond, the RTBA will require:

  • a Bond Claim form completed and signed by the tenant(s) and the deceased landlord’s legal representative or next of kin; or an Agent/Landlord Transfer form signed by the landlord’s legal representative or next of kin
  • proof of death. Acceptable documents include a full death certificate, an interim death certificate issued by the Coroner, an invoice from the funeral director, or a probate or letters of administration
  • a statutory declaration from the landlord’s legal representative or next of kin. The person who signed the Bond Claim or Agent/Landlord Transfer form on behalf of the deceased landlord must sign the Statutory declaration by legal representative or next of kin (PDF, 17KB).

For forms and more information, view:

If the landlord’s legal representative or next of kin cannot agree with the tenant(s) on the division of the bond, either party may apply to VCAT for a determination.