DIed, then abandoned
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DIed, then abandoned (by Jerry [MA]) Nov 18, 2020 3:55 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Richard [MI]) Nov 18, 2020 4:25 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Steve [MA]) Nov 18, 2020 4:36 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Mike45 [NV]) Nov 18, 2020 4:42 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Nov 18, 2020 5:46 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Deanna [TX]) Nov 18, 2020 6:01 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Jerry [MA]) Nov 18, 2020 6:28 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by JR [ME]) Nov 18, 2020 7:56 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by plenty [MO]) Nov 18, 2020 8:04 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Nov 18, 2020 8:30 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Nicole [PA]) Nov 18, 2020 10:30 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Jerry [MA]) Nov 19, 2020 12:15 AM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Lynn [MA]) Nov 19, 2020 6:59 AM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Jkj [MA]) Nov 19, 2020 7:11 AM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Frank [NJ]) Nov 19, 2020 8:06 AM
       DIed, then abandoned (by OKHMBLDR [OK]) Nov 19, 2020 8:56 AM
       DIed, then abandoned (by NE [PA]) Nov 19, 2020 8:58 AM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Nov 19, 2020 1:13 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Nicole [PA]) Nov 19, 2020 4:01 PM
       DIed, then abandoned (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Nov 19, 2020 4:27 PM

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DIed, then abandoned (by Jerry [MA]) Posted on: Nov 18, 2020 3:55 PM

This is a first for me. Had a tenant die at the end of last month. The problem is that it doesn't seem like anyone is going to handle the estate.

By the time I heard about it, the son had already traveled from Ohio and had his mom cremated. He stopped by the apartment and apparently picked up some things, but didn't take much (there doesn't seem to be anything valuable remaining). Another tenant talked with him very briefly as he was leaving, and said he wasn't coming back to clean out the apartment. Then he left for Ohio.

I found a phone number for the son and called him. It took a while for him to respond, but when he finally did he said that there wouldn't be an estate or probate since his mom didn't have anything of value. When I asked about the stuff still in the apartment (clothes, furniture, even food in the refrig) he said that he didn't know and since he wasn't going to do anything with an estate he couldn't really say. He even claimed not to have the keys. He then basically hung up on me. Tried calling back, but he isn't responding.

I'm not sure what I can do at this point. The apartment has not been legally returned to me. If there is no estate, then there's no one who can give it back to me. My thinking is that I will need to file for eviction, and when we finally get to court I can get possession, and then clean out the apartment and then re-rent. If there is no estate, I assume that I am out of luck for the rent for November and beyond, along with the clean out costs. Is there anything else that I should be doing?


DIed, then abandoned (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Nov 18, 2020 4:25 PM

Check for animals/pets.

Just my opinion here: he has indicated he is done with it. He has no intention of returning. Clean it out (have a witness helper and get photos) and rerent.

If you're worried about him making claims, ask your lawyer/sheriff, court.

I've had this game run on me before with midnight move outs. When they call and say you've got their rare valueable whatever, just say all their sruff is in storage and inventoried with a witness. They are free to come get it as soon as they pay back rent, damages, cleanout fees, storage fees, processing fees, etc.

I never hear from them again.


DIed, then abandoned (by Steve [MA]) Posted on: Nov 18, 2020 4:36 PM

Was she current on her rent & did she have either a LMR or a SD? Who did she list on as an emergency contact on her rental application? I would try to contact them. The funeral home might be able to provide some additional contact info.

I would try texting the son from a different phone number & see if he responds back confirming what he said on the phone.

Does your rental agreement have an abandonment clause in it? If not I highly recommend adding one to all of your future rental agreements especially since MA LL / Tenant doesn't actually cover it.

Personally I'd be inclined to enter the unit, change the locks, post notice who to contact for access & start prepping the unit for renting. Of course you should take pictures / videos showing the present condition including any stuff left behind. You might also be able to get a constable to view the contents & declare what if anything has any value. --71.174.xxx.xx

DIed, then abandoned (by Mike45 [NV]) Posted on: Nov 18, 2020 4:42 PM

I do not know Mass law. Can you post a Notice of Belief of Abandonment, and enter relatively quickly? That is what I would do, if permitted under applicable law. Declare it abandoned, take possession, document everything that is there, and clear it all out.


DIed, then abandoned (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Nov 18, 2020 5:46 PM

Contact the emergency contact and let them know that you may have some money for them.....that is if they can remove all the items without you having to go to court. If they are in the area, have them pick up all the stuff and sign that what ever is left behind is abandoned. If they are not local, tell them that you will disposal of the items and return at $100 balance of the deposit if they sign off on all items being disposed of.

Evicting a dead person isn't cool. My local judge told me that I didn't need a constable, that I needed a priest to take the property back. The eviction was the legal way to do it and I did only as the next of kin was not cooperative to me or my former tenant. If they are cooperative and willing to work with you, then work back with them.

If you are going through the brass tacks legal approach, you would wait for the county to approve someone to administer the estate -which normally doesn't happen......so five or six months pass by with you not collecting rent or being able to get rid of the items.

You are in a situation where a little compassion goes a long way - for both you and the next of kin.


DIed, then abandoned (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Nov 18, 2020 6:01 PM

I don't know about MA, but we found out in TX that TX doesn't have a definition of abandonment. We had a custodial grandma with a prescription drug problem who was going to get her grandson taken away from her by CPS-- and he was her world. So the night before they were going to come, she packed him and everything she could fit into her little car and hightailed it back to the East Coast.

Which meant she left behind everything she couldn't fit in her little car.

We took that one really slowly through the courts. We had words in our lease agreement that talked about how we could dispose of abandoned property--- but all the abandoned property we'd dealt with up to that point had been small stuff, like broken tv's or hangers or whatever. We'd never had to dispose of an entire household's worth of goods.

After we took it slowly through the courts, though, to get possession-- we modified our lease. Since TX doesn't have a definition of abandonment, we defined abandonment for our own purposes. And in addition to falling off the planet, it includes when the sole tenant has been deceased for x number of days.

So-- do it the slow, correct way first, but look at modifying your lease in the future to address this issue to make the next time easier. --137.118.xx.xxx

DIed, then abandoned (by Jerry [MA]) Posted on: Nov 18, 2020 6:28 PM

No pets, fortunately.

The emergency contact is the son, which is how I knew his name and how to contact him. But I'm not getting any support from him. I don't think he and his mom were very close. Rent was paid through October, and there is no SD or LMR.

I don't think the son will be back, and he seems to have no interest in the stuff in the apartment. I like the idea of simply boxing the stuff up and keeping it for a while, at least a few months. I'll make sure I take pictures.

I also like the idea of adding an abandonment clause to the lease. I'll work on it for whoever moves into the unit. --71.233.xxx.xx

DIed, then abandoned (by JR [ME]) Posted on: Nov 18, 2020 7:56 PM

Are you kidding? Document your conversation with the son, the emergency contact, that there is no estate and he isn’t returning. Keep it somewhere safe. 99.999% chance this is the end of it. Clean out, re-rent, and move on. Keep her goods in storage for a few months if it makes you feel better, but I wouldn’t bother. As you said, there was nothing of value left, and if anyone tries to ask for her valuable whatever, just say, “sorry, I can only discuss with people authorized by a court.” Scammers don’t like court and won’t try anything once they find out you are not a pushover. --98.13.xx.xxx

DIed, then abandoned (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Nov 18, 2020 8:04 PM

It's all yours.

Carry on. --172.56.xx.xx

DIed, then abandoned (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Nov 18, 2020 8:30 PM

Well since there isn't much cooperation go offer the son $50 to give you a bill of sale of all remaining items. Basically that is about 1 month storage fee you are giving the son, but you are able to start getting rid of the items right away. That way you can limit the amount of moving and storing these items.

I concur with JR of probability that this manner will be resolved without offering anything.......but that slim chance that does exist - you might learn that that useless garbage is worth $10,000 in a lawsuit when you are sued for the priceless treasures that you threw out


DIed, then abandoned (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Nov 18, 2020 10:30 PM

if there is no estate, there is no one with authority to question what you've done or not done. That won't stop someone from being appointed personal representative at some point should they request it but really, if there is nothing there, why would they spend the time and money.

Was there an obituary? Other children or a long estranged spouse? Parents living?

If none, I'd take photos of everything, store anything (or possibly everything) for 60 days and then dispose of it. I'd take possession now. Hang a note in the window that you have secured the property and any legal representative of the estate should contact you at xxx. --72.70.xxx.xxx

DIed, then abandoned (by Jerry [MA]) Posted on: Nov 19, 2020 12:15 AM

Ray, I really like the idea of paying a few bucks for the property and a receipt. I'll call and offer it to the son. Thanks! --71.233.xxx.xx

DIed, then abandoned (by Lynn [MA]) Posted on: Nov 19, 2020 6:59 AM

If you start the eviction process today you wouldn't have a court date until sometime next year. --66.30.xx.xx

DIed, then abandoned (by Jkj [MA]) Posted on: Nov 19, 2020 7:11 AM

I would do as JE said. --73.17.xxx.xxx

DIed, then abandoned (by Frank [NJ]) Posted on: Nov 19, 2020 8:06 AM

Whatever you do, I would do it via phone and send a writing via Certified Mail with Return Receipt --174.225.xxx.xxx

DIed, then abandoned (by OKHMBLDR [OK]) Posted on: Nov 19, 2020 8:56 AM

I'm assuming that what's left behind is probably of no value. But, if it's worth something, do an estate sale/garage sale, get rid of everything. Then text the son, tell him you did an estate sale, you have $250 for him. If he sends you his address you will forward the proceeds from the sale.

If it's not worth anything, clean it out. Then send him same text but you only have $100. If he accepts the money you just move on, clean up and re-rent.

Everyday you wait, you lose rent. --174.67.xx.xxx

DIed, then abandoned (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Nov 19, 2020 8:58 AM

Put it all in the middle of the rooms and paint and repair. After a month, toss it. --70.44.xxx.xx

DIed, then abandoned (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Nov 19, 2020 1:13 PM

Contact, in writing, by certified mail any known relatives and also send same letter to 'your' deceased's rental address. If anyone shows up asking to get 'stuff', require Identification, and one of the following: a copy of Power of Attorney, Trust documents naming the individual, or a court order naming the person in front of you as authorized to collect belongings. Turning over things of the deceased to just anyone will eventually get you sued by relatives who come out of the woodwork.

Include a demand for the last month's rent and a notice that anything left in the residence for over 15 days will be considered abandoned. Then wait. If you don't hear anything or nobody contacts you, get rid of anything you don't want. I'd keep it another 15 days just to be sure and then dispose of everything, clean the place and re-rent.

Also best to include all the 'procedures' in the Rental Agreement so relatives will know what's expected of them just in case. Signed documents are good evidence if you get sued. --72.199.xx.xxx

DIed, then abandoned (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Nov 19, 2020 4:01 PM

most times (probably 99.99%) a POA is not effective after the principal's death. --72.70.xxx.xxx

DIed, then abandoned (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Nov 19, 2020 4:27 PM

Good point Nicole! You need to read the POA and see if it continues after death. Not many do. Has to be written differently from the normal POA's. --72.199.xx.xxx

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