How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102350
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
7286322
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I need to find out about a security deposit. My Boyfrind and

Customer Question

I need to find out about a security deposit. My Boyfrind and I were no longer living together but the security deposit I left there because he couldn't afford it. He had paid his rent in full for the month of July 2015 and died oon the ninth of July. His daughter lives in Mt.Plesent WI and I live in west Allis 5 miles from his apt. Between the two of us we managed to get everything out of the apt and turned in the keys on the 28th of July. The landlord, the apt manager and the maintance man all know that the deposit was mine and said they would send it to me. I got the Check today made out to the deseasd Karl Miller and they with held rent prorated for Aug 1st - Aug 24th because they say we wern't out in time for them to rent in for Aug 1st. Can they do that?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) the site allows experts to opt out of participation in phone calls and I may or may not be able to participate in this feature.
I am very sorry to hear about your loss. The following applies in such a situation in Wisconsin:
704.165 Termination of tenancy at death of tenant. (1)
(a) Except as provided in par. (b), if a residential tenant dies, his
or her tenancy is terminated on the earlier of the following:
1. Sixty days after the landlord receives notice, is advised, or
otherwise becomes aware of the tenant’s death.
2. The expiration of the term of the rental agreement.
(b) Notwithstanding s. 704.19, in the case of the death of a residential
periodic tenant or tenant at will, the tenancy is terminated
60 days after the landlord receives notice, is advised, or otherwise
becomes aware of the tenant’s death.
(2) The deceased tenant or his or her estate is not liable for any
rent after the termination of his or her tenancy. Any liability of the
deceased tenant or his or her estate for rent under this subsection
is subject to the landlord’s duty to mitigate damages as provided
in s. 704.29 (2).
(3) Nothing in this section relieves another adult tenant of the
deceased tenant’s premises from any obligation under a rental
agreement or any other liability to the landlord.
(4) A landlord under this section may not contact or communicate
with a member of the deceased tenant’s family for the purpose
of obtaining from the family member rent for which the family
member has no liability

So the lease terminated SIXTY DAYS after the landlord first learned of this. Ergo, the landlord may indeed charge up to 60 days more after his passing, starting from the date that the landlord noticed of the passing.
So let us say that the landlord learned of this the DAY of the passing. That was 9th of July. That plus 60 days days means that the landlord can charge into beginning of September 2015 before terminating.
Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I want to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please rate when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you saying that they can with hold $365. from my security deposit even if we were out before the end of the month
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Let us take a step back. When was his lease to end, originally?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They were notified the 9th of July when it happened, in fact the maintance man found him
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Let us take a step back. When was his lease to end, originally?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
July 31st.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can they withh old rent for Aug out of the security deposit. I was told the security deposit is for damages only.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Wat do I do with a check made out to the deased
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Ah, I see. My apologies, I thought it a longer lease - half a year or more.
In that case, his lease would be terminated earliest of:
1. Sixty days after the landlord receives notice, is advised, or
otherwise becomes aware of the tenant’s death.
2. The expiration of the term of the rental agreement.

If so, then his lease ended at end of JULY. And, his property was cleared out. If so, then there is NO REASON why the landlord should keep the deposit for part of August if the lease ended in JULY, and all items were cleared from the property.
So in this case, the executor for the estate can go to small claims court and seek back the wrongfully withheld rent.
Rent can only be for damages to property, or, unpaid rent. But if the lease ended at end of July and the property was cleared out, he cannot keep any August rent.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Related Real Estate Law Questions