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Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. There is no set period to recover the belongings for an estate, the right to the real property is based on the terms of the lease. However, for recovery of the personal property in the unit, the landlord cannot use "self help" measures such as lockouts to keep the property and must permit family members access to the unit for that limited purpose.
The unit is subject to an unlawful detainer action (the landlord can file for possession in the City Court and ask for a sheriff or constable to evict (oversee the removal of the property)). The deceased
's estate is responsible for any backrent that is owed, plus late fees if applicable.
Here is a link to an article regarding lease terms following the death of a tenant. It is written from the perspective of a landlord, but has helpful information for the tenant's family as well, and discusses the issues regarding who is actually authorized to enter the property after death (even family members may not be properly authorized agents of the estate depending on the circumstances, but that is an issue of the estate).
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