If a landlord dies, what happens to their tenants?

My parents filed a living trust that deeded their home to me 40 years ago. In the last few years after my dad had passed so my mom moved out of their home to live with my sister. After she had moved out, she leased out the home. My mom passed last month but the lease she had signed with the current tenants does not expire for another 10 months As the owner, do I have to honor that lease or should I initiate a new lease between the current tenants and myself? Also, can I sell the house while the tenants are living there under the old lease?

Asked on January 13, 2013 under Estate Planning, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am s sorry for your loss.  Your Mother's estate would have to honor the lease.  The general rules is that unless the lease provides otherwise, the death of a tenant or landlord does not terminate the lease and does not terminate the responsibilities of either party under the lease. The landlord’s successor will continue as the landlord.  You can sell the property but it is "subject to" the lease.  Good luck.


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