If our mom died and left a rented house full of stuff, are the heirs obligated toremove the items fro the houseand clean it?

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If our mom died and left a rented house full of stuff, are the heirs obligated toremove the items fro the houseand clean it?

The house is packed. Most of the items are of little value and are just housewares. The job is too overwhelming and large to do in the amount of time that the rent is paid until. Can the landlord sue us (for cleaning) for leaving these items behind?

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It's possible that the the landlord may be able to proceed against your mother's estate if (s)he has to hire a cleaning or moving, etc. company to take care of this--after all, why should the landlord be obligated to pay this expense?  Any time tenants cause, through their careless or negligent activities, the landlord to incur costs, such as for repair or extraordinary cleaning (beyond the normal, one tenant moves out, another tenant moves in kind of cleaning), the landlord may be able to take the money from the security deposit and/or sue the tenants--or in this case, the landlor would be able to sue your mother's estate (the money she left behind). The landlord may not, however, proceed against you personally, since you are (presumably) not on the lease and were not a resident of the home; thus, you would not be personally liable.


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