Landlord passed away. Is lease still legal?

BettyMaeOctober 15, 2003

My daughter's landlord passed away in July. His daughter seems to be taking over his real estate. She is a real treat. Harrasses my daughter, barges in unannounced, loses rent checks and asks for another, etc. Her husband comes in to supposedly check the furnace filter and informs my daughter that she should keep the place cleaner and not leave her makeup all over in the bathroom. What is he doing in her bathroom????? He also told her he would "come back and take care of her dog" if he found out he was in the pasture with the cows.

Is the lease still legal with the daughter? My daughter rented from a nice old man, had verbal agreements with him, not his daughter.

What are our options? Can we get out? We don't want to approach this lady until we know our rights, if any.

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Verbal agreements, unfortunately, die with the person who said the words unless there were witnesses. Does she have a signed lease, on paper?

It might be just a month-to-month agreement with nothing in writing, but it is still a lease. And it falls under the state's laws about residential rentals. Most states have a "landlord-tenant law" brochure that explains things - call the state's info hotline and ask.

The heirs actions are ILLEGAL in most states: landlord has to give 72 hours notice before entry. I'd tell him to leave the furnace filter on the porch and stay the heck out of my house.

I'd start looking for a new place to live. They sound like creeps. If it's a month-to-month, she probably only has to give a bit more than 1 month notice.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2003 at 9:26AM
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When there are no signed leases then atuomatically under the law it becomes a month to month basis NO MATTER what was said landlord to tenant regardless. That's the law.
Things also change once the original lanlord is deceased, she must make a new lease with the new landlord.
I think she was smart in not signing anything, so give a month's notice and ask for the deposit back and pay the last month's rent.
DON'T let them bully you or her- technically the lease is now month to month. Also the law is on her side if she feels threatened by the landlord and they put her in "uncomfortable" situations.
Wish you luck.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2003 at 3:12PM
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It is 24 hours notice for entry, the month to month is 30 days from the rent due date. So if you give 30 days notice on the 6th of Nov. the 30 days isn't officially up until the 1 of Jan. It would START on Dec 1st.

The lease is valid and must be honored.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2003 at 2:10AM
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"once the original landlord is deceased, she must make a new lease with the new landlord"

Not in most states ... a contract does NOT change because the maker of the contract dies, and leases are not voided when property is boutght and sold.

If a lease is in writing, that lease remains valid until the date it says it ends, with all the terms intact. If a landlord dies one month into a 5-year lease, the heirs are SOL until the 5 years are up, and have to follow all the terms.

If the lease was a verbal month-to-month, both have to follow the state's laws governing these things.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2003 at 9:45AM
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Well, it's over. My daughter delivered a letter requesting to get out of the lease to the landlady's place of business and got no response. The second letter was again hand delivered and my daughter inquired of the landlady's employee as to whether she had definitely received the first letter and they stated that she had. The next day, the person who had originally shown my daughter the rental and who was employed by the original landlord, (the father) at the time of his death came by and told my daughter that the landlady was ready to come to terms with her. The landlady offered that if we paid November's rent and left the place clean, she would allow my daughter to get out of the lease. Yippee! We found an apartment, cleaned and shampooed the old rental to death and moved her out at the end of October.

What a relief! Hope things go better at the new housing. The people living there seem to be happy so I'll hope for the best.

Thanks for all the advice!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2003 at 10:29AM
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MAke sure that you got the Landlady's agreement IN WRITING!!! It may not be over yet if you haven't. Just write it up yourself as you understood it and have her sign it.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2003 at 4:40AM
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