What do you do with a dead tenant?

8 Replies

So I haven't run into this yet but as I grow I imagine that my odds of a tenant dying grow.

Here are my concerns:

  • Who becomes responsible for that month’s rent, if anyone?
  • Who becomes responsible for the dead tenant’s possessions?
  • Are there any laws or requirements surrounding removing the dead tenant’s things in a reasonable timeframe?
  • Are there any laws that prevent you from immediately boxing the tenant’s things and putting them in storage so you can flip your unit?


Any information on murdered tenants and stories about experiences with that.

The tenants estate .       The person appointed by the courts   .  I am sure there are laws about removing or storing property State specific 

DO NOT box their things up , You open yourself up to theft accusations .

They die , you take pics , and secure the house , take what ever precautions necessary to protect your assett . Change locks , Let no one in UNLESS you have papers from the court . 

I rented a small garage to a guy , he died . Within 24 hours , His sister , son , step son , and ex wife all wanted acess to get his tools and expensive street rod .  I told all of them NO , Not until I have a paper stating who was the executor of the estate , and ONLY that person will be allowed Is who holds the paper .    

Crap hit the fan , The step son came over with bolt cutters with the ex wife .  I had to call the cops and pulled my truck right up to the entrance door .     

I didnt have a key to his padlock , but I put a second lock on the door .     The sister got everything 

@Matthew Paul wow yeah, I never considered the angle of people fighting over the estate. That adds another layer to it. Now I'm really happy I asked 

When someone dies the vultures get their fast 

"What do you do with a dead tenant?"  First step is arrange to get the body out of the building before it stinks the place up. Once you get the body outside it is less complicated moving forward.

Lock the place up and don't let anyone in without though paper work and all rent owing. Change the locks immediately as family may have a key. As long as the tenants belongings are in the property rent is owed. This is why you do not release anything until you are paid full rent owed including damages if any. If there is a deposit and any money left after damage deductions make sure the trustee or heir signes off having recieved it.  

Your state landlord tennat regulations deal with all the rest of the details regarding the tenants property.

Get paid first.

I'm glad you're posting this too! I'm working on a deal where I purchase my 94 year old neighbors house, he will rent from me until he goes to assisted living or passes away. These are really helpful things to think about on the front end as we are getting all of the paperwork together.

His daughters have POA, is it fair for me to ask to see a will OR write into our lease how the belongings shall be handled upon death should it happen before he moves out?

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here