Rentals in Jefferson Park>Question Details

Suzy Pinal, Real Estate Pro in Chicago, IL

Tenant in our rental apt passed away. Tenant owed 3 mos in back rent. Anyway to collect rent?

Asked by Suzy Pinal, Chicago, IL Sat Mar 3, 2012

No probate, tenant had lot of debt & $4000 in checking acct.

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11
Suzy, hi...

.if he passed you probably knew he was ill; I'd guess he was in the hospital or a nursing home and it was at that point you should have contacted his relatives. you definitely want a written, preferrably notarized, authorization from his relatives stating you can dispose of his items.

once you have that, do a google on companies that do Estate Sales, they can help you obtain some value from whatever's there. An appraisal would be good as well.

Hope this helps, good luck.

Terry B, CDP
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2016
I say sell the items on craigslist and call it even . It will take forever and most likely you won't get a dime if you go to small claims court.
Please let me know if you need assistance in finding a new tenant.
diana@findingourbalance.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 23, 2013
Ok thank you. How do I file something with small claims court? Does it cost a lot? Do you think I would have a chance collecting anything?

We don't want to hire a lawyer. We figured we can live with losing out on the rent than hiring a lawyer. Just thought if it was easy enough to take action on our own to possibly collect the rent we would pursue otherwise to let it go.

The family does not live in town so we are stuck removing all her stuff. She was a lawyer who worked out of her home so the only thing their attorney is coming to get are her legal files. She has a ton of stuff. I spoke with her brother and he said we can just throw away everything.

Yes we have a few people already lined up who are interested in renting the apartment, just waiting for the attorney to remove the files which will be next week. I am not touhcing anything because I didn't want to be accused of taking any files. Do you think it's ok to just move the files aside? The brother said to contact him if we need something in writing saying they authorized us to remove all her stuff and discard.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
I would hire a lawyer and go to court and sue for pay rent and get it out of your system..you will get nothing but at least you can be right.
Web Reference: http://www.joeschiller.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
This actually happened to me with a tenant in the past. It will actually cost you more in court fees to collect the money. And in all honesty, at some point, you just got to let it go. I thought to myself I could be worse off than losing a couple grand. I would just find a new tenant.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
Geat real.. Find yourself a new tenant
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
You can try small claims court , the rent owed will least be on file. Notify the heirs to pick up the tenants belongings and rent out the apartment as soon as possible.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
Thank you for your responses. How do I file something? I wasn't sure what steps needed to be taken. The rent was $1200/month so she owes us $3600. Is it not worth the effort?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
So, you're wanting to collect from a dead person..
I'm sure the bank who loaned for the car is looking to collect also.
The ISP providing internet service in going to attempt to squeeze who ever answers the phone (heirs) also.
The cable company, the utility, and very likely the insurance company who fails to see the humor.

They tend to all play the guilt card, start harassing telephone call and even threaten to send COLLECTORS to the home of the heirs to squeeze a dime or two from those who have no obligation what-so-ever.

The advise I would give is to the heirs. DO NOT PAY ANYONE A DIME UNTIL THE JUDGE DEMANDS PAYMENT AND THE AMOUNT!! Advise every caller the call is being recorded for quality control or training purposes, of course.

The heirs should make sure they only talk to folks they can call back. Say, "I can't talk on this phone, let me call you back in three minutes. GET A NUMBER. The heirs attorney and judge will be glad you did. Verify the number works and who answers. . You only want to have a conversation via unsolicited incoming calls.
It is nearly criminal what these folks say to the heirs to make them believe they are accountable.

In regards to your question, your attorney will know how to get your claim filed against the estate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
Yes, let his heirs know what rent was due. File it and see if you can collect something. Although it seems your tenant had bigger issues if he was dying. Clean the place out, get it ready to rent again and get it rented while you wait on a response the rental market is doing great right now.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
His heirs still owe it. However, there may not be anything for you if his debts far exceed his assets. Make them aware of his back rent and get it on file. You might get something at least.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
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