Does my lease terminate if the landlord dies?
Category BBB Attorneys
“My father recently passed away. He had rental properties
in his name and one of the tenants phoned me to hear if
he has to move out out now that my father has passed away.
What is the position? Has the lease come to an end?”
Lease agreements don’t generally terminate on the death
of the landlord. The appointed executor of the estate of
the deceased will take over the administration of the
estate and transfer the residue of the estate, after paying
out legatees, to the heirs. The rights and obligations in
terms of the lease agreement will pass to the heirs,
provided that the heir/legatee accepts the inheritance.
The terms of the lease agreement will be paramount in
determining the grounds for termination of the lease. Should
the agreement specifically provide that the lease terminates
on the death of your father (the landlord) then this position
will apply when the landlord dies. A tenant will however have
to be allowed a reasonable period to vacate the premises.
Given that tenants could be affected by the death of your
father, it may be prudent to approach your executor to review
the lease agreements and determine the termination provisions
thereof to avoid continuing uncertainty in this regard and
ensure proper communicationwith your tenants on their
continuing rental position.
SOURCE: BBB Attorneys
Author: Veda Palmer