Is memorial to present tenant a turn-off to future tenants?

15 Replies

Is this just me ,over-thinking things, or is this going to be creepy to future potential tenants?

I'm renting one side of a duplex and the other side is occupied by a very nice man, who's now dying of cancer. The couple that owns this duplex is very close friends with him and the wife is staying with him, instead of him going into a hospice.He's likely only going to have a few weeks left.

She has now turned the front entrance to the property into a memorial, with a plaque hanging over the entrance, showing a sailboat (he loves boats) and 'Mark 'til ' with the date being filled in when he's deceased.

While I think it's a really nice gesture to their friend, who has lived here for 10 years, I'm thinking that when they start showing the place to new potential tenants, they will most definitely ask what that is about, and I think some people will likely be really creeped out, having it so pushed into their face , that they'd be moving into a place where someone just died.

I've renovated a dozen or so Victorians and I'm sure people have died in them, but it's one thing to just assume and it's another to be made aware of the details.

What do you think? If you were looking to rent something, would it have an effect on you? Just curious about other opinions

We should all be so lucky, to die at home, with the people we love.  I hope all of the people I love will die with family, in a home they have created wonderful memories within.  No one wants someone they love to die in a hospital if medical care won't help.   It is the whole basis of hospice.    

People tend to be creeped out with murders, violent acts, or where abuses have occurred.  

 Its all nice since he's still alive and living there, once the inevitable happens, hopefully they have the sense enough to take it down.   Aside from it being kinda creepy once he's gone, you should remove the previous tenants stuff no matter why they left the property.   If they choose to leave it there as their prerogative as owners of the property, then they have to deal with the consequences of future tenants or lack thereof. 

@Brian Mathews , they don't plan to take it down. They put it up today and he can go any day. She wants to keep it there and then add his date of death after he's deceased.

I think you should be able to explain how this might be a turn off for future tenants. Give them the option of making a memorial in the backyard or somewhere else for your tenant that is out of the way of possible new tenants.

You could also discuss with them that the tenant with the health issues feels uncomfortable with the sign. That might be great indication to take it down. 

@Steven J. , thanks for your suggestion. The owner/wife is actually now staying with the tenant 24hrs/day , so, there's nothing I can say to her about what the other tenant might think or not. 

Each unit has their own backyard, so, a memorial in the unit's backyard would probably have the same effect (or maybe even creepier, because it'd be the new tenant's own, private space, while the front yard covers both units.

I might mention something to her after, but very softly. Right now I'm walking on eggshells, because it's a really difficult situation for her (and not so easy for me either, because the other tenant was property manager and maintenance man and I couldn't bring up problems in my unit to him, because he was starting to be sick and they don't want to hire anyone else fixing things, because it will make him feel bad, because he's no longer capable of fixing). And after he passes, they will be grieving and might not be open to any suggestions.

I just wanted to see, if anyone else thought of this somewhat creepy for future tenants or if this was just me feeling kind of weird about it.

I wouldn't say anything.  The owners will learn once it sits vacant for a while.  Maybe plan on just enjoying the quiet as who knows who will move in next.  If he was a dear friend to them and you say something, they might focus their grief on anger towards you, so I'd just let them have their memorial until they figure out it's not working for them all on their own. 

I know how it's best to die at home and how it is natural and all but yes, it would creep me out to know that someone had 'just died' in the unit.  I wouldn't want to live in it.  It's silly but... that's how we are today.

It would be different if it was MY loved one.  I've had family members die at home and never felt odd about it.  

people die every day.

when they move out, they take their stuff, which includes plaques and crosses. If they're occupants, they must comply with the rules of the community.

be careful asking them to remove something that is otherwise legal to hang, especially if it could be construed as religious.

@David H. , It's the owners of the property that hung the plaque, not the tenant, so, it's not going anywhere when the tenant dies, but it will be finished off with the date of his death.

in that case, sounds like a moot point. They don't have to take it down, and most people aren't likely to be offended. They'll know when it comes time to re-lease, and if it hits them in the wallet, they will react.

@David Krulac. wow, must have been some time ago. \\We had the old 'Burns Mansion' (the guy who built it originally came with Sherman through Atlanta) on my street in Atlanta, that had a private cemetery on its land. I don't think you can legally do that today

@Michaela G.

This wasn't that long ago.  I have seen family private cemeteries on farms, but this was a city house built in 1970s.

Oh, ok. I guess those laws also differ whether it's urban or rural areas or from state to state and county to county.

For what it is worth, I wouldn't want to rent a place that has a memorial plaque on it, with no plans of it being taken down.  I'd probably only consider it if rentals of that price/caliber were hard to come by.  Otherwise, I'd just move on to the next property.

I just wouldn't want to come home every day and look at a memorial for someone me...was a random person, I had never met, that had lived in my apartment before me.  It's just super weird.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

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

Start here