Your Complete Guide on How to Handle the Death of a Tenant

lease obligation after death

An unexpected death is always tragic and hard to work through. While the emotions surrounding this kind of loss can be difficult, there’s also a wealth of logistical issues that one might have to work through as well. Dying, as they say, can be complicated. This is certainly the case when a tenant passes away. This is a somber topic and one that every landlord hopes they don’t have to deal with. But it does happen, and it’s important to understand the lease obligation after death.

What is the tenant lease obligation after death? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know.

Get Written Confirmation

You will likely find out about the death of your tenant in one of two ways.

You will either be notified by a family member or next of kin. Or, you yourself might discover the deceased individual at your property. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen

If you are the one to discover the body, it’s essential that you notify the police immediately. They will handle the notifying of the family and will come to do an official report. 

Following the removal of the body, you will need to ask for a copy of the report so that you have written notice of the death of your former tenant. 

This can be a very difficult time for everyone involved. Remember to be sensitive and generous during this time when dealing with the family, who are likely to be very overwhelmed and emotionally affected.

What Happens to the Lease?

Many people assume that a lease ends with the death of a tenant, but in many states, this isn’t so.

It’s important to look into the laws in your area in regards to leases and tenant deaths.

More than likely, ownership of the lease will pass to the next of kin. A landlord usually has the right to ask the family for the remainder of what was owed to the lease. However, a compassionate individual will likely come to a compromise with a family about how much they will be owed.

Removal and Resetting of the Property

A landlord has no right to enter a home and begin the removal of the deceased’s property.

In most cases, you will need to work with the family, who has a right to the items and belongings left behind.

It will be up to them to remove the items in a timely manner agreed upon in discussions following the death. If there is no family or next of kin, you should contact your state for instructions on how to deal with abandoned tenant property.

Tenant Lease Obligation After Death

The death of a tenant can be hard on both a family and a landlord.

It can be hard to know what the proper steps to take are. The above information should help you to navigate this difficult period and understand the lease obligation after death.

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