DEATH OF A TENANT – THE DO’S AND DON’TS

When the only remaining tenant on a lease dies, it raises issues and presents challenges. While a landlord’s reaction of how to approach this situation may seem logical, common–sense, reasonable and proper, it may also be illegal and costly.

 

Florida Statutes 83.59 and 83.67 sets out rules for how the landlord can re-take possession of the unit and how to handle the abandoned property. The good news is that a properly worded lease can help the landlord navigate the challenges due to the death of a tenant.

 

Landlords need to keep in mind that upon death of a tenant, the Landlord cannot immediately re-take and re-rent the property, dispose of the personal property, or grant access to anyone – even children or the sole heir – even if they can produce a Will. Additionally, powers of attorney are no longer valid.

 

So what’s a landlord to do to protect themselves from this event – which is becoming more common? For starters, make sure you lease contains the language set forth in Florida Statute 83.67.

 

BY SIGNING THIS RENTAL AGREEMENT, THE TENANT AGREES THAT UPON SURRENDER, ABANDONMENT, OR RECOVERY OF POSSESSION OF THE DWELLING UNIT DUE TO THE DEATH OF THE LAST REMAINING TENANT, AS PROVIDED BY CHAPTER 83, FLORIDA STATUTES, THE LANDLORD SHALL NOT BE LIABLE OR RESPONSIBLE FOR STORAGE OR DISPOSITION OF THE TENANT’S PERSONAL PROPERTY.

If your lease contains this above language and (a) The last remaining tenant is deceased and (b) rent remains unpaid, and (c) at least 60 days have elapsed following the date of death, and (d) the landlord has not been notified in writing by relatives, friends, the court etc…of the existence of a probate estate being opened or that a personal representative has been appointed, then after the 60 days have elapsed and you complied with the above steps, the unit is yours to re-take, re-rent and dispose of its contents as you see fit.

 

In the event a probate estate is being opened, a claim would have to be made in that probate proceeding for anything due under the lease. In that case Landlord should deal directly with the personal representative. The Landlord can also allow access to those that have court authorization through “letters of administration” and can evict or file other necessary motions by suing the estate through serving the personal representative.

 

While this overview gives the landlord direction on handling the death of a tenant, it is best before taking any action to call your attorney and let the attorney walk you through the process to avoid any costly mistakes.

 

When it comes to managing your single and multi family residential properties, rest easy – Octazon Management has got you covered. Our full-service property management company can handle everything from maintenance and landscaping, to screening potential residents, preparing leases, marketing, advertising and managing your properties online with our advanced technology that allows us to stay connected and maintain transparency with our clients.

 

With Octazon, rest easy, because we bring order to residential property ownership.

 

Call us 888-324-9528 or email us at info@octazon.com today.

 

Check us out @ www.octazon.com

 

 “Single Family Residential – REO – Multifamily – Commercial”

 

Getting to the root of who is responsible when your tree becomes a nuisance

What happens when your tree damages your neighbor in some way? Does your property have a tree that has roots encroaching onto your neighbor’s property? Perhaps causing damage to the foundation of their house and/or their roof? Are your tree leaves causing the neighbors pet Afghan hound to contract severe allergies? Or are your tree branches creating so much shade that your neighbor can not plant anything? Let’s get to the root of these issues to determine who is responsible for the damage caused by your tree.

Florida courts have continuously held that a property owner is not liable to an adjoining property owner for damage caused by trees encroaching on the neighbor’s property. Vaughn v. Segal, 707 So. 2d 951 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1998); Gallo v. Heller 512 So 2d 215 (Fla. 3d DCA 1987) Richmond v General Engg Enters Co., 454 So. 2d 16; (Fla. 3d DCA 1984).Virginia T. Scott v. Julie L. McCarty. So. 3d 989; (Fla. 4th DCA 2010)

Regarding tree damages, In 2010, the 4th DCA reasserted that the Gallo view is the predominant view in the country and is followed by Florida courts. The Gallo holding is based upon the common law and Second Restatement of Torts which holds that: [A] possessor of land is not liable to persons outside the land for a nuisance resulting from trees and natural vegetation growing on the land. The adjoining property owner to such a nuisance, however, is privileged to trim back, at the adjoining owner’s own expense, any encroaching tree roots or branches and other vegetation which has grown onto his property. The rational behind this well established law is that the courts want the neighbor to provide self help instead of clogging the courts. So if your tree has become a nuisance and your neighbor is now “barking” at you – you can legally tell him to “leaf” you alone.

When it comes to managing your single and multi family residential properties, rest easy – Octazon Management has got you covered. Our full-service property management company can handle everything from maintenance and landscaping, to screening potential residents, marketing, advertising and managing your properties online with our advanced technology that allows us to stay connected and maintain transparency with our clients.

With Octazon, rest easy, because we bring order to residential property ownership.

Call us 888-324-9528 or email us at info@octazon.com today.

Check us out @ www.octazon.com

Single Family Residential – REO – Multifamily – Commercial”