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Thread: deceased tenant

  1. #1
    littlerobin is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy deceased tenant

    Hey all,
    Am looking for some advice/direction on how to proceed.
    I have a unit that was 3 plus months past due when I became manager here. The tenant approached me with a deal to pay part of the balance due, use his deposit to pay off some more and then have us write off the balance and let him clean the unit out. The owner felt that getting 2/3rds of the money was better than potentially getting much less with an auction of the unit and agreed to the deal. That was 30 days ago, the tenant never came in to pay the agreed upon amount and we sent another preliminary lien notice last week. The tenants girlfriend (not on the lease) came in today and said the tenant passed away last week, and she wants to get the stuff out of the unit. When I informed her that he never kept the payment arrangement and that I would have to talk with the owner, she got upset and said she thought he had paid it. I told her I couldn't let her in or make a new "deal" with her until I talked with the owner. Bottom line, he said, the deal is off, if she wants to pay the full amount owed she can get the stuff otherwise, no, and wants me to proceed with the final lien notice/auction notice. My question is we know he's deceased. Will sending the final lien notice certifiec mail still cover us to auction off the unit? Has anybody had anything like this? dealing with a tenants "estate" I guess would be the term?
    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    MamaDuke's Avatar
    MamaDuke is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: deceased tenant

    Unless someone comes in with the balance due and court documents to prove they have the right to the contents, I would proceed with the sale. You currently have no proof that the tenant is actually deceased, just the word of a woman claiming to be his girlfriend. So, unless and until you have the proper legal documents, proceed as though nothing is any different!

    IF someone shows up with all of the above, then you have your money and they have the stuff he left behind.
    MamaDuke

    The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure very much.

  3. #3
    Trudy D's Avatar
    Trudy D is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: deceased tenant

    If the "girlfriend" pays the balance in full then access would be allowed to anyone with key & code. Assuming you have computerized gate...
    lady5563 likes this.
    ~Trudy
    "No good deed goes unpunished!"

  4. #4
    dennybeall is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: deceased tenant

    I would proceed with the Lein process and unlock the unit if the total amount owed was paid. If someone has been given the key and the code then they will access the unit. If someone asks for access then normal access procedures would apply - if you're the tenant prove it and I'll give you access. If you're not the tenant then provide a legal document for access.
    Nothing in our contract addresses the death of the tenant . Normal legal processes cover someone taking over that asset/liability.
    lady5563 likes this.
    Karen and Denny Beall
    Diamond Self Storage
    Nature Coast of Florida

  5. #5
    astro is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: deceased tenant

    This all sounds great. But, what about probate. You have been notified of the death, even if not officially. Check with your attorney before you do anything.
    Bob Taylor (Astro)
    Blue Ridge Self Storage
    Cashiers, NC

    Disclaimer: What Gina said....'cause the the cheese fell of my cracker.

  6. #6
    ldsgrandma is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: deceased tenant

    What type of documentation would you require from the courts for this situation?
    Quote Originally Posted by MamaDuke View Post
    Unless someone comes in with the balance due and court documents to prove they have the right to the contents, I would proceed with the sale. You currently have no proof that the tenant is actually deceased, just the word of a woman claiming to be his girlfriend. So, unless and until you have the proper legal documents, proceed as though nothing is any different!

    IF someone shows up with all of the above, then you have your money and they have the stuff he left behind.

  7. #7
    kaitew4 is online now Member
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    Default Re: deceased tenant

    We require that anyone who wanted access to the unit to provide us with an official notarized death certificate and then we require new tenant's information and have them sign a new lease- just like they were moving in. Of course, the balance would have to be paid in full first- but if they have the keys and a code and pay up I don't have issues with that.

  8. #8
    Trudy D's Avatar
    Trudy D is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: deceased tenant

    A death certificate is not evidence of authority, responsibility or the decease's wishes for the distribution of their property. It only proves the named has assumed room temp. A bonafide administrator of the Estate will provide you with "Letters of Testamentary" and will give you a copy of them. I'd personally mail copies of all the lien paperwork so the family is aware of that there is a storage that may go to Auction. Probate takes a bunch of time, they may have to pay for the unit before anyone has a right to get in and take possession of it.
    Billings Storage likes this.
    ~Trudy
    "No good deed goes unpunished!"

 

 
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