Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, November 25, 2016

After a Roommate Passes Away, Does the Estate Pay the Rent?

Lease estateIs a decedent’s estate liable for half the rent on an apartment lease after they die? Oftentimes, a landlord does not care how the rent payments are divided as long as the money reaches their hand. If the rent goes unpaid, the landlord has a right to sue either or both tenants named on the lease. However, upon moving in together, roommates often sign a “roommate agreement” that addresses how the rent and bills will be divided. These written agreements can bolster a claim against an estate for payment. Even without one of these agreements, it is still a good idea to file a claim against the estate for reimbursement. But, remember, the decedent’s secured creditors will get paid first, so it is important to understand any liabilities and the size of the estate before assuming you will be reimbursed.

See Ronda Kaysen, A Roommate Dies; Must His Estate Pay the Rent?, N.Y. Times, November 5, 2016.


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