When a tenant dies in a unit in the state of California, there are certain procedures that a landlord must know to follow. The first thing that you should know is how long you, as the landlord, are responsible for the tenants' belongings and how long the executor/administrator of the will has access to it. The answer is until the end of the lease. They will also be responsible to pay the rent during that time as well. If there is no lease, the responsibility will last until 30 days after the last rent check was paid.
When the person steps forward and claims to be the executor/administrator of the will, the landlord should ask to see documentation provided by the court. Copies should be made to prove that you received them. Also know that if the landlord allows people in and anything is damaged or stolen, the landlord may be at fault for this.
If items are left in the unit at the end of the lease, there are certain details that must be followed as to disposing of these.
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