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If a Landlord Dies – Do Tenants Have To Pay Rent To The Estate?

Table of Contents

  1. Skippable Intro
  2. If a Landlord Dies, Do Tenants Have To Pay Rent To The Estate?
  3. If My Landlord Dies, How Do I Pay The Rent?
  4. If a Landlord Dies, Can The Personal Representative or Heirs Evict the Tenant?
  5. If a Landlord Dies, Does The Estate Have To Fix Broken Things and Provide Housing Services to The Tenant?
  6. If a Landlord Dies, Is The Estate Allowed To Sell The Property With a Tenant Living In It?
  7. If a Landlord Dies With No Heirs, Does The Tenant Get The House?
  8. If a Landlord Dies, What Happens To the Tenants Security Deposit?
  9. If a Landlord Dies, What Happens To the Tenant?

Skippable Intro

So, I decided to answer this question after checking my Google Analytics, and I saw that people really do ask this question. Just so you know I’m being serious, here is a picture of the screenshot in my analytics with a tenant asking seeking the answer.

If a Landlord Does Does a Tenant Have To Pay Rent To The Estate?
If a Landlord Does Does a Tenant Have To Pay Rent To The Estate?

Ask and you shall receive. I decided to answer to cover this question and similar questions that I found surrounding the situation if a landlord dies. Without further ado.

Question: If A Landlord Dies, Do Tenants Have to Pay Rent to The Estate?

Answer: Yes. The reason why is the right of succession. If a landlord dies, their rights, responsibilities, and the rent they are entitled to transfers to their heirs. The mechanism to effectuate this transfer is the Estate of the deceased landlord. In order to make sure that the heirs get paid what they are owed, the tenant needs to pay the Estate.

Question: If My Landlord Dies, How Do I Pay The Rent?

Answer: The best way to pay the rent is to pay the Personal Representative of the Estate. Family members and heirs of the landlord may show up claiming that they are entitled to the rent, but only deal with the Personal Representative that shows up with a Letter of Administration. Wait until the Personal Representative opens up a bank account for the Estate, and pay via check to that account.

Question: If a Landlord Dies, Can The Personal Representative or Heirs Evict the Tenant?

Answer: It depends. If the lease agreement has not expired, then the heirs must honor the lease agreement and cannot evict the tenant that is in compliance with the lease on a whim. In the same manner the landlords heir’s are entitled to rent, the compliant tenants are entitled to finish their lease term.

Question: If a Landlord Dies, Does The Estate Have To Fix Broken Things and Provide Housing Services to the Tenant?

Answer: Yes. The lease obligations remain in full force and effect. The landlord’s successors must carry on the duty of being a landlords, just as the tenant must continue to pay rent.

Question: If a Landlord Dies, Is The Estate Allowed To Sell a Property With a Tenant Living in It?

Answer: Yes. It is very common for a personal representative to settle an estate by selling the home. If the estate sells the home, then the new owner becomes the tenants new landlord. The new landlord must honor the old lease agreement and is entitled to receive rent.

Question: If a Landlord Dies and He Has No Heirs, Does The Tenant Get The Property?

Answer: No. In most jurisdictions if a person dies with no heirs, their property escheats (goes) to the State.

Question: If a Landlord Dies, What Happens to the Tenants Security Deposit?

Answer: The tenant is still owed the security deposit. The tenant should contact the personal representative of the estate to make arrangements to get their security deposit back if they left the house in good condition.

Question: If a Landlord Dies, What Happens To the Tenant?

Answer: I think the best answer is nothing. You’re still the same tenancy that you had prior to the landlord dying. The tenant just gets a new landlord. The new landlord must steps into the shoes of the old landlord and has their rights and responsibilities.