Where can I find information on my rights as a landlord when a tenant passes away?

9 Replies

So I had one of my tenants pass away at my rental property. There are still many family members living there, and they seem to be able to afford the property as is, but I was wondering if anyone knows where I might find information about my rights as a landlord in this case. I briefly browsed the internet, but there is so much conflicting information...where is the best source (government agencies included) to look for the information?

Am I allowed to require them to requalify for the property?
Am I allowed to sell it?

Does anyone know a good real estate attorney in the Denver area?

thanks guys! :)

I don't use him, but I have been to a few of his CE classes. Greg Parham. 

For this sort of thing use these guys:  http://www.thslawfirm.com/

@Ashley E.  - I'm a little late to this party but I'll chime in. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advise so I'll start by asking a few questions. 

What is the nature of your rental agreement?  Do you have a month to month? If so Colorado allows for as little as 10 days notice to terminate that agreement. You can deliver notice that the MTM agreement ends in 10 days and see what happens. If no one contacts you then you can post 3 day notice after the 10 days expires. If no one contacts you then you can file for eviction. 

Bigger picture wise. Your rental agreement governs who can live in the property. Typically only those adults listing in the agreement can legally reside at the property. That is a violation of the lease so you can evict for that as well. 

If you are trying to get control of the property and have a say in who is living there, it's probably best to start over with new tenants. If you just want to know who exactly is there then probably reaching out to them personally is the best route.

Eviction is the most straightforward and can be the most costly approach to regaining control of your property. If you have some negotiation skills and simi-cooperative tenants/residents, you can often accomplish it quicker and cheaper by using your wits.

you guys are awesome! Thank you so much... I have a lot of other issues with them that I need to take up with an attorney about my rights too... Thanks guys 

As an attorney never get your legal information from the internet.  Find an attorney in your area that is familiar with landlord tennant law not someone who does real estate closings.  You need someone who knows that law.  Doing the wrong thing can lead to bigger problems.  Find a lawyer.

I would not do this myself and I am a practicing attorney.  I personally would find someone else to do this for me.

@Ashley E.  You need to decide want you want. One option is for you to regain possession of your property in a legal manner (get an attorney for this who specializes in landlord-tenant law as others have said) and find new tenants or sell. Another option is for you to allow the current residents to stay by qualifying them so they may enter into a lease/rental agreement with you and be held accountable to your terms.

Landlord-tenant law prevails, so you need to be knowledgeable about that. Occupants become your tenants by default if they stay long enough, with or without a written agreement. Sounds like that is the case here. I ditto what @Bill S.  says. He gives you some clear action steps to take.

What did you decide to do?

I would like to sell the property, which is what I wanted to talk to the attorney about...

thank you all for your help! :) 

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