Are Landlords Required To Secure The Property Of A Deceased Tenant To Prevent Theft

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My father recently died; I was the beneficiary of everything. The landlord allowed other family members to come in and pack up his belongings in the apartment. I asked her not to. Can I sue the landlord, or what should I do?

Landlords are required to secure the property of a deceased tenant to prevent theft and to work with the tenants estate. By failing to work with the tenants estate, he went outside the law and bypassed the legal will and testament of the deceased and let people steal the property, family or not. How would he like it if he left everything to his son or daughter and his brother came in and stole everything?What Should Landlords Do With Their Deceased Tenant's Belongings?

You need to get the attorney or executor of the will to gather all those thought to have “helped” themselves to the property, and explain the law and possibly press charges, and include the Landlord so he is educated on the responsibilities of a Landlord.

Edit: To add to this, since there are so many people asking and I have answered the question in the comments multiple times.

  • Being a landlord is an actual business and some states require landlords to be registered and attain a business license. It’s not as simple as owning an extra property, house, apartment and putting an ad on Craigslist. There is a whole branch of law written around being a landlord, meaning there are laws they have to follow and dealing with the deceased tenant is one of topics covered in the law.
  • A will is a legally binding document and breaking any legally binding document is illegal.
  • A legal will is registered or files with a probate court, registered with the Secretary of State, or Registry of Wills, and the landlord can contact the local probate court, will registry, or whichever is used in their state to find out if the tenant had a will in place, and get the contact info for the executor of the will to coordinate final payments and removal or storage of property. The Landlord should not drag his feet because some states only allow for 2 months rent to be paid out of the estate.
  • As far as a landlord recouping back rent or rents due, This is usually paid out of the Estate. Either through a final expenses account, or from bank accounts of the decedent. The landlord will not be left out, they are running a business after all.
  • Simply holding a key does not give you right to enter. You may have permission of the tenant during life, but once they pass, all permissions are revoked.
  • The landlord has the responsibility of securing the property after the police remove the body and conclude any investigation that may be ongoing.
  • In the event a tenant passes and the landlord finds no will filed or registered, the property does not automatically become his. It goes to the next of kin, BUT in order to get hsi rents due, he should treat the apartment as a lockout situation and change door locks to prevent anyone with a key from entering the property. Once the last person on the will has passed, the apartment is to be locked to prevent theft of property until the landlords account have been satisfied. He can put a lien on the property contained if the family does not want to pay the rent owed. They will either pay the amount owed, or the landlord can take possession to keep or sell what he wants to get monies owed to him.