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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37374
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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My son rented a bedroom with kitchen and bathroom

Customer Question

My son rented a bedroom with kitchen and bathroom privileges. He paid a damage deposit and rent for the first month. 3 days after moving in he had a stroke at 12:30 am on 12/9/15. He passed away on 12/13/15. My daughter in law, a friend of my son and my self went to clean out his room and some stuff he had in the garage. The gentlemen he rented from mention an Oder we did not small. When we left the floor need to be vacuumed other than that it was clean and no sign of damage This gentleman told us he would prorate the rent for only the days my son lived there. And return the difference plus the deposited to us.
We had not heard from him by yesterday 12/28/15. My daughter in law called him to ask about the refund. He informed her that he was not returning any of it because of the supposed Oder he had to replace the carpet and the stress of him finding my son on the floor suffering a medical emgency Do we have any recourse in get at least some of these monies back?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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First let me say I am very sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolences.

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Can you tell me what state this is in?

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Did son actually pass while at the dwelling?

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Was he under a fixed term lease or was he month to month?

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Has everything of his been removed from the dwelling and the keys returned to the landlord?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank for your concern
California
No he passed away at the hospital 4 days later
Month to month
Yes we took every thing that day
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Ok, from a purely legal perspective, the landlord would only have a legal duty to refund any deposit and paid rent if he was able to re-rent the property prior to one month from the termination of the lease and there were no damages unpaid.

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If son had paid the rent for December and this was a month to month, then if he passed, his estate representative would have to be the one to give a 30 day notice to terminate his tenancy. I realize it sounds strange, but his rental contract continues even after his death and the 30 days would only start running once the keys were returned to the landlord and he accepted them as a "surrender".

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Then the landlord has a duty to try and re-rent the property to a new tenant. If he is able to do so within 30 days of the surrender, then he would have to refund any pre-paid rent and security deposit. If he is unable to do so, then he gets to keep the rent, but must refund at least the security deposit if there are no damages.

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So here, if there were no damages, then the executor of son's estate could sue the landlord for a refund of some portion of the deposit since son presumably paid for the rest of December and you moved his property out and surrendered possession shortly after he passed.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

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