So, my tenant just died...

7 Replies

I successfully completed my first tenant turnover!

I finish explaining the terms of the lease with the wife (which they had previously signed) and she says to me, "Oh, by the way, my husband is in hospice." I politely give my condolences and we finish up the walk-through.

Later that evening I am thinking to myself... His Disability Income, pension, and Social Security probably make up 60% of their combined income...and if he dies I'm not sure she can even afford to pay the rent!

Two days later I stop by to fix the mailbox and everything seems fine.

The next day I see them both at a home improvement store and we chat briefly and go about our business.  Later that night I receive a notification...which is her telling me that he has passed away! Only 4 days after moving into the house!  I sure hope she can pay the rent, I'd hate to have to evict a recent widow...  So far she seems like a good tenant and she said she'll be returning to work full-time.

So, my first tenant turnover DID NOT go as I had expected.

It’s unfortunate but if she stops paying rent move to evict. That’s just how it goes. She must have known this was coming if he was in hospice.

Well to them This was no surprise and I’m sure they had some plan as to how this would go down concerning paying bills and where she’d stay after he’s gone and so fourth . Hopefully that plan was not to find some newbie sucker who would take them in just before he crossed the finish line to grift off of .

That's a tough one for a first tenant @Scott Jensen .  Hopefully there are survivor benefits to help her transition to work again.  Try not to fret.  They say 80% of stuff we worry about never happens.  Cross the rent default bridge if it ever comes.

I had a 48 year old HUD section 8 guy pass on me 2 months in. He was off hiking. HUD called to say they need the next month portion of their rent back (it was the end of the month and the EFT went out already). Mighty nice of 'em. Then the brother and next of kin had the unit tied up for a month. Thankfully it was just one little unit among dozens.

If someone had to pass as your tenant, at least there's a spouse to take care of the estate and their stuff!

If you look at it from HUD's perspective, "We Pay Rent For Dead People" is not the kind of headline they'd ever want. And it does just go to show how much the figure of the landlord is despised in our culture -- the appearance of helping out landlords is taboo for a federal agency.

I would assume that they were financially prepared for this to happen, so I wouldn't worry about non-payment until it happens. If she is unable to pay, you could give her the option of cash for keys or offer to let her move out for a fee. I wish you luck! 

Yes, she knew about it...but I think it happened a lot faster than she was expecting so the timing was a bit of a surprise.  Hopefully she is able to make the rent work.  We talked a bit and I told her to let me know ASAP if she doesn't think the rent will work out and we will try to find a solution. If the timing is right I may be able to move her into a smaller and more affordable unit in a 4-plex I am purchasing.

Thanks for your responses.  Tenants passing away in your properties is obviously a reality of being a landlord...  Just a part of it that I had not considered yet.