What happens if a landlord cashes a rent check if they are aware that their tenant has already passed away?

My single 65 year old uncle passed away at the end of last month. Landlord knew of passing. Yet, he cashed the rent check the beginning of this months and refuses to return to the security deposit to the estate.

Asked on October 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  How, may I ask, did the landlord get the rent for next month ahead of time?  Are the checks post dated?  Or did your uncle pay the rent early?  The estate - through the executor - has the right to go after the landlord for the security deposit.  The executor can bring an action against he landlord for its return.  But remember that the executor also has the duty to take care of clearing out the apartment and making sure that it is left broom clean and with out damage above normal wear and tear.  Get help here. The matter needs to be sorted out.  Good luck.

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