How To Deal With An Unexpected Death On Your Rental Property

Friday 24th February 2023

Ellen Warren

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As a landlord, you may deal with various unexpected situations like late rent or an eviction. However, what you might not expect to deal with is the untimely death of a tenant. This can be a traumatising and overwhelming experience.

At ICE Cleaning, we offer discreet trauma cleaning services. Our technicians can quickly clear biohazards, decontaminate the scene, and restore it to how it was before. 

Read on to learn how to deal with an unexpected passing on your rental property.

Discovering an unexpected death on your property

The discovery of your tenant who may have passed away from natural or unnatural causes can be an incredibly upsetting incident. It could be that a loved one or family member of your tenant informed you of their passing on your property, or you may have discovered it yourself.

Everyone has a different trauma response, so you should be kind to yourself and seek help immediately. Make sure you give yourself time to process before taking the next steps, which may further pressure you.

If you have discovered your tenant has died naturally in palliative care at home, you should contact their carer or GP to inform them of their passing. In the event that they have passed alone, you may receive a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death from the GP or doctor.

However, if you have discovered that their death was unexpected and even violent, you should contact the police who will contact their next of kin. This process may become exhaustive and anxiety-inducing, so you should consider seeking mental health support.

Steps to take after the discovery

Once you have received written notification of death, your first move should be to secure the property, and you may want to prepare for the next tenant.

In the contract you made with your tenant before their passing, there may already be some details about what will happen to a rented property after their death.

If there are no agreements in the tenancy, it may become a civil matter between yourself and their next of kin. When this happens, be sure to find a solicitor for legal advice. You may also need to take extra steps in the event your tenant did not have a will or executor.

You might think about cleaning, especially if the passing was violent and unexpected. However, you should hire trauma cleaners for your own safety and wellbeing.

What are trauma cleaners?

Trauma cleaners are specialists who deal with thorough decontamination of a property where a death has occurred. They will offer a variety of services and situations that they can clean such as:

  • Murder scenes
  • Crime scene cleaning
  • Accidents
  • Undiscovered deaths
  • Forensic cleaning

The clean-up itself will include decontamination with specialist products. Trauma cleaners must arrive on-site with PPE to protect themselves from any biohazards like bodily fluids and pathogens in the air.

Industrial-grade equipment can achieve a deep clean, as well as the use of dedicated disposal bags, and even buckets and sponges. The solutions and specialist tools will ensure thorough cleaning and clear the area of biohazards.

Why you should not tackle a clean by yourself

At the scene of an unexpected death, there may be some risks present, some of which could cause harm to you and possible damage to the property.

If the tenant was experiencing sickness at the time of their passing, there will likely be pathogens in the air that could also infect and make you ill. If you discover a body, you should try to ventilate the area, providing it is safe to do so.

When someone passes away, their body will begin to decompose and expel blood and bodily fluids which are dangerous to be exposed to. There could also be drug paraphernalia or weapons on your property.

There may be an infestation of pests like flies or rodents, too, which can carry bacteria elsewhere or leave behind droppings that might make you ill.

It is imperative that when it comes to cleaning the property, you should not do it yourself. Contain the area and contact trauma clean-up services as soon as possible.

Get in touch

If you require a specialist to carry out a trauma cleaning, you should get in contact with us at ICE Cleaning. Our rapid-response service and discreet, sensitive technicians can take care of the entire process for you, giving you peace of mind during this difficult time.

Our technicians are accredited by the NACSC (National Association Of Crime Scene Cleaners) and are trained to carry out thorough trauma cleaning.

We are available 24/7, 365 days a year and will arrive on-site within a matter of hours in an emergency. Call us on 0208 066 0360 or email us at for a free, no-obligation quote.

Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

Sales Representative

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