Evicting a spouse of a deceased tenant

7 Replies

Dear Community,

I've been reading BP for a while now and as it has been said many times before: this community is really amazing and I'm thankful for that. This is my very first post and question on these forums, so I'll take a chance to give a quick introduction. I'm 27, living in Houston area. Bought my first SFR two years ago, mostly for myself but then I realized that instead of living in a 4bedroom house with my fiance, for the time being we might save some money and do a rent swap. Rent the house out while living in a smaller apartment and keep the difference. That's how I've gotten into renting business. This year I've purchased a fourplex and currently trying to put it on it's rails for a smooth sailing. I always try to look for new opportunities and once I get the fourplex straightened out, I plan to try construction of new homes or flipping. BP has been a truly great source of information. After coming here I started thinking more and more about investing. It adds a lot of motivation to find like-minded people and read through their experiences.

Now back to my question. First year of renting my SFR went great. No big troubles, good tenant - a woman with children. Her husband worked overseas at the time so he was not on the lease and there was no plan for him to return to US on a permanent basis. So at one point the tenant got hospitalized and passed away due to some illness, all in a matter of a few days. Now shortly after her husband got back from overseas to take care of kids and moved into the house. I didn't bother him with resigning the lease or adding his name, as at the time I thought that one is legally responsible for deceased spouse agreements anyway, and also I kept getting my rent.

Now few months later this has deteriorated a lot. He started being constantly late, very evasive. Doesn't pick up phone calls or open doors and became outright rude and aggressive.

I'm trying to get rid of him now, but not sure how to file an eviction. His deceased spouse was the only adult on the lease, do I file it on her name or his name? I was trying to get one of the companies to do it, but they told me they can't represent me since his name is not on the lease. Can I do it myself or better have lawyer take care of it?



@Mike Hernandez  

I would TOTALLY have a lawyer take care of it. I am ALL about DITY but this matter I would totally get professional help since you A) Don't have a lease with the current tenants name on it B) some died C) theirs kids involved

Since he is not working with you, you want to come from a position of strength.

Thank you, Elizabeth.

How do kids weigh in here? They were listed on the agreement, but I thought it wouldn't affect anything since they are underaged.

Kids won't be an issue as far as the actual eviction filing goes necessarily, but they are a heart string to be pulled... Deceased Mom, Dad trying to do the best he can but not prepared for this and mean old ornery uncompassionate Mr. Landlord trying to put them out on the street...

See how that can go without correctly documenting and filing everything. Not saying that is what will happen, but it is a possibility. 

Thanks, Matt. 

I'm genuinely surprised at how some tenants undermine themselves. I'm willing to go long ways working with them and trying to help in situation like this if they are willing to work with me. I did help a woman with a kid on her hands that got fired and sat without a job for two months, simply because she was honest and wanted to work together. However, in a current case, the guy is outright aggressive.

Will seek for professional help. Thanks again.

Delegate to an eviction attorney. Step aside and get out of the way. Let the professionals do their job. 

You? Go work in your garden or tweak your business plan. Whatever you do to relax. Maybe take your mate to dinner.

@Michael L. I like @Rick H. 's solution. But I'd vet the Attorney you select by going to the Housing Court that will be handling your case and asking for recommendations.

Ditto on the eviction attorney.Please keep us posted.

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