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Possible Issues Affecting Ability to Evict Related to Partial Payments – Part II 2/21/2018
Possible Issues Affecting Ability to Evict Related to Partial Payments – Part I 1/5/2018
Section 8 Landlord Incentive Program 11/27/2017
Part II: Notice to Terminate Lease at the End of the Initial Term – Sec. 8/Sec. 42 Resident or HUD based property 6/14/2017
Part I: Notice to Terminate Lease at the End of the Initial Term – Market Rate Resident 5/31/2017
Legislative Update 2017 – Changes to the Unlawful Detainer Statute 5/11/2017
Important Things to Know About Mold 3/27/2017
3rd Party Requests For Tenant Information or Entry Into Unit 1/12/2017
What to do about trespassers 11/7/2016
Meth survey - We need your help! 8/30/2016
Pools and common areas – Creating proper standards for conduct and attire 6/14/2016
New HUD Guidance on Criminal History of Tenants 4/27/2016
Bed Bugs Part III: Treatment and Prevention 4/4/2016
Bed Bugs Part II: Separating Fact From Fiction 3/21/2016
Bed Bugs Part 1: An Introduction 3/1/2016
Arrests and Criminal Background Checks 2/17/2016
Future Rent And a Landlord's Obligation to Mitigate Damages 2/2/2016
Security Deposits - Landlord's Obligations Under Utah Law 9/16/2015
Abandoned Personal Property 9/1/2015
US Supreme Court affirms disparate impact claims under Fair Housing Act 6/26/2015
Reasonable Modifications for the Disabled- Do I have to pay for it? 6/7/2015
Dealing with a Death in a Rental Unit 6/6/2015
Abandonment 101 - Unpaid Rent, Property In Unit - Now What? 6/4/2015
Abandonment 101: Unpaid Rent, Empty Unit - Now What? 6/3/2015
Tenant Victims of Domestic Violence 6/2/2015
Requalifying Tenants upon Renewal 6/1/2015

Dealing with a Death in a Rental Unit

Published 6/6/2015


One of the most unpleasant events landlords must be prepared to deal with is the occasional death of a tenant. Preparing yourself by understanding the law, having a plan and being able to recognize potential risks can help avoid needless hassle, unnecessary expense and unexpected liability. The most likely scenario involving a tenant dying involves an event happening offsite, like in a hospital or in an accidental death. Landlords also may have tenants die on-site (including suicides) and must understand how to manage that as well.

Many factors come into play when dealing with the death of a tenant. These factors dictate what the landlord should or must do. Often if the deceased is just one of the lease signers, there is little or nothing to do. But if the deceased is the only person on the lease, there are many things that must be considered.

The potential for liability in handling the both the unit and the property within the unit is significant. Battling relatives may try to become occupants or gain access to remove items. Taking legal and appropriate steps is important. It is also important to properly communicate and deal with those that may be grieving the loss of a loved one.

How do you protect yourself from liability? How do you make sure you have taken proper steps to protect whatever interest you may have in the deceased tenant’s estate? Who really gets the assets of the deceased contained in the leased unit? Who pays for the damages to the unit now that the tenant is deceased?

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