lease broken by death

Is the estate responsible for the balance of lease when the signer passed away

Asked on June 7, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An estate is responsible for the debts of the deceased. This includes rental payments due and payable under an exisiting lease. That having been said, the landord is under a duty to "mitigate damages". This means that as soon as the premises is vacated, it must make good faith efforts to re-let the premises. If and when it does, the lease obligation terminates.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The estate is responsible for the obligations of the deceased, which would include the remaining balance of rent due for the remainder of the lease term. The estate is also responsible for any unpaid rent due as of when the tenant passed away; and for any physical damage, beyond normal "wear and tear," done by the tenant, to the extent such damage exceeds the security deposit.

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