Is an exclusive rental management agreement binding once the original signer dies and the property is no longer an estate?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is an exclusive rental management agreement binding once the original signer dies and the property is no longer an estate?

Our property was left to my husband and his brother when their mother died. For a few years it operated under the mothers name DBA an estate. One brother decided he wanted nothing to do with the property so we legally went from an estate to being owned, out right by my husband. There was a management company in place at the time of my mother’s death. We kept working with the company

until recently when managements negligence almost lead to us losing the house. After terminating the management company, they are saying we owe money to them for the life of the lease. Having never signed an actual contract with the management company, we asked for a copy of the agreement. We received a contract from 13 years ago signed by mother. The wording on contract states,

Asked on May 16, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A contract signed by person A does not bind person B, even if B ended up buying, inheriting, or otherwise taking over the contract, unless B actually agreed to be bound under the agreement: one person may *not* legally bind another. Based on what you write, when the property became your husband's, the contract was effectively terminated. By continuing to use the management company, you would be responsible to pay them for all working the actually *did* (you can't get another's work for free), but did so under an oral agreement, terminable at will: that is, you have to pay them up through when the agreement terminated, but not going on into the future after the termination of their represenation or management of your property.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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