U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate > Renting
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 09-28-2010, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,729 posts, read 34,414,605 times
Reputation: 28431
Default What happens if the landlord dies?

If a landlord dies, what protection does a tenant have, if there is no written lease? Who can change the rental terms, and when?

Here's the scenario. Deceased Father (F) leaves entire estate to be divided equally between two sons, who are designated as joint executors. One son (B1) has been living for 8 years in F's vacation house, to which F went only on weekends. No rent was charged, they were just father and son sharing a house. The other son (B2), having little contact with the brother and father, wants to charge B1 rent for continuing to occupy the house. The estate has not yet been probated. Does B2 have a right to charge rent back to the date of F's death, or only back to the date that the will is probated and the property succeeds to the two sons, and proper notice is given to the occupant of the change in terms?

It is my view that a covenant was in place between F and B1, and the estate remains bound by that covenant until it is lawfully revoked, which B2 will not have the power to do until the estate succeds to him. And an amendment to the covenant after succession cannot be made retroactive against the wishes of one of the parties.

In other words, B2 has no power until probate, to charge rent, and when he does, he can't backdate the rental obligation. Am I right?
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-28-2010, 04:37 PM
 
1,372 posts, read 1,485,545 times
Reputation: 1600
B1 wasn't renting, the father was letting him live in a house he owned for free. The brothers are now co-owners of the house and B2 can't charge B1 rent for living in his own house.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-28-2010, 04:44 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,701 posts, read 10,637,333 times
Reputation: 1864
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
If a landlord dies, what protection does a tenant have, if there is no written lease? Who can change the rental terms, and when?

Here's the scenario. Deceased Father (F) leaves entire estate to be divided equally between two sons, who are designated as joint executors. One son (B1) has been living for 8 years in F's vacation house, to which F went only on weekends. No rent was charged, they were just father and son sharing a house. The other son (B2), having little contact with the brother and father, wants to charge B1 rent for continuing to occupy the house. The estate has not yet been probated. Does B2 have a right to charge rent back to the date of F's death, or only back to the date that the will is probated and the property succeeds to the two sons, and proper notice is given to the occupant of the change in terms?

It is my view that a covenant was in place between F and B1, and the estate remains bound by that covenant until it is lawfully revoked, which B2 will not have the power to do until the estate succeds to him. And an amendment to the covenant after succession cannot be made retroactive against the wishes of one of the parties.

In other words, B2 has no power until probate, to charge rent, and when he does, he can't backdate the rental obligation. Am I right?
You really need to see an attorney about this.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-28-2010, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
2,579 posts, read 5,485,382 times
Reputation: 2098
Are you the son, or a tenant living in another property that the father owned?

If you are the son, hire an attorney to represent you.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2010, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,729 posts, read 34,414,605 times
Reputation: 28431
I am neither, its a friend. An attorney would charge more per hour than the rent would be per month, so that would be pointless.

B2 is trying to charge BI for half the rental value, since B2 will ultimately own half interest. After 5 months, B2 wants to charge B1 retroactively for occupying his "half interest" for the past 5 months since F's death.

The question is not whether there are ways to finagle around it. The question is what is the legal position. At what point can executors and/or prospective heirs revoke a contract (written or verbal) made by a deceased, and can it ever be done retroactively?

For example, if F had told a neighbor he could freely pick apples off his tree and F dies, and the neighbor keeps on picking apples. After the estate is probated, can the heirs come back and charge the neighbor for all the apples he picked? Or does the agreement made by F remain in force until the property succeds to the heirs and they formally terminate the agreement with proper notice and lawful power to do so?

Last edited by jtur88; 09-29-2010 at 12:26 AM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2010, 06:17 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
20,531 posts, read 22,567,353 times
Reputation: 21393
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I am neither, its a friend. An attorney would charge more per hour than the rent would be per month, so that would be pointless.
You're making an assumption which may well be erroneous. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation to decide whether or not a problem is indeed a suable action and if you have a legal aid office in your neighborhood they will help out too. This really is a matter where legal counsel is required.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2010, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
8,989 posts, read 8,176,621 times
Reputation: 8855
It seems to me the solution would be to get the property appraised and B1 buy out B2's interest in the property. I presume there is another property involved that was the father's primary residence. Do B1 and B2 have a shared interest in that? If so, will B1 ask B2 to pay rent on his share? Was any cash inherited that could be used for B1 to buy out B2?
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2010, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,729 posts, read 34,414,605 times
Reputation: 28431
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
It seems to me the solution would be to get the property appraised and B1 buy out B2's interest in the property. I presume there is another property involved that was the father's primary residence. Do B1 and B2 have a shared interest in that? If so, will B1 ask B2 to pay rent on his share? Was any cash inherited that could be used for B1 to buy out B2?
Again, as we are talking about a few months rent as opposed to buying the entire property, that would be a very rash resolution. Needless to say, this is one of those inheritances in which no amicable agreements will ever be on the horizon.

The question, again, does not relate to ways in which a dilemma can be circumvented, but about the simple fact of law. Do verbal rental agreements entered into before death by a deceased landlord retain their force until final probate and succession of the property? This must have happened countless times, since many people rent without a formal lease, landlords do die, and probate can take many months or even years.

The fact that the above case involves family members would not affect the application of settled law on the question.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2010, 09:44 PM
 
1,372 posts, read 1,485,545 times
Reputation: 1600
I'm not a lawyer and I've never owned any inherited property that caused a problem.

But I'm failing to see B2's claim to be able to charge B1 rent. B1 owns half the place. B2 could move in if he wanted to. While the house is part of the estate, I would think all beneficiaries have full rights to use the property.

Obviously, they are going to have to come to some sort of agreement that will likely involve B1 buying his brother out.

To answer your question, had the will left everything to B2, I think he would have been in his rights to kick his brother out as soon as dad stopped breathing.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2010, 10:30 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 9,269,980 times
Reputation: 5705
This is so interesting I had to ask my uncle who is a major real estate developer but who's corporation also owns many rental complexes.

First he said this is specific to that state's LandLord Tenant laws and state probate/estate laws. Thats why they have staff attorneys for this type of stuff

But, B1's rights to remain as a son living with a parent is intact. As the son, no written lease is required.

If only B2 was willed the house, after probate he can work out a lease deal for B1 to remain unless the will specificaly said B1 can remain at no charge. But B2 can't charge for back rent now because until the house if probate and turned over to him alone, he isn't even the owner so he can't charge rent on property he does not yet own.

As executors, they have to honor all prior agreements until the estate is settled. The executors can invoke the month to month provisions of the agreement if aplicable under state law, but B1 & B2 are both executors so both have to agree to this.

However, since the OP said that the house is willed to both, after they become owners, you can't charge an owner rent on property they own. So no matter what happens B1 cancels out B2, and if they can't agree, thing remain as is.

I cant remember everything he said, whole lot of legal real estate landlord jaron, but that pretty much what I took away from the call.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $79,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate > Renting

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top