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Can your landlord take your stuff?

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What happens if a tenant dies?

If a tenant dies and there are no other tenants in the apartment, the landlord can get rid of any unsafe items right away. The landlord must keep other belongings safe for 30 days so that the tenant's relatives or "legal representative" can arrange to deal with them.

The legal representative is usually the person who is named in the will or by a court to look after the property (estate) of the person who died.

After the 30 days, the landlord can do whatever they want with the person's belongings.

If the landlord sells the things, the landlord can keep enough money from the sale to cover any unpaid rent and expenses. If there is any money left over, a family member or the legal representative can claim the money for the estate. They must make this claim within 6 months after the tenant's death.

If the landlord keeps anything, and a family member or the legal representative shows up within the 6 months to claim it, the landlord has to give it back.

The landlord and the legal representative can agree to different terms about the property. This agreement should be in writing.

Some of the rules are different if the tenant was living in a mobile home that the tenant owned. If you are dealing with this situation, it is important to get legal advice.