If a tenant passes away, does the apartment complex have the right to still charge the tenant and/or next of kin rent for the remainder of the lease?

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If a tenant passes away, does the apartment complex have the right to still charge the tenant and/or next of kin rent for the remainder of the lease?

And, if that rent is not paid, do they have the right to keep the security deposit to go towards the rent?

Asked on November 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unless, there is specific language in the lease regarding termination upon death (highly unlikely), then it is binding upon the tenant's estate. In other words, rent is due for the remainder of the lease but the next of kin (i.e. the heirs) cannot be held personally liable.

As for using the security deposit to cover any remaining rent, that depends upon state law; sometimes rent can be so used but typically not.  


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