When a tenant dies, it is a challenging time for their family and loved ones. As Landlord or Property Manager, you’ll be able to help by following the correct procedures with compassion and diligence to ensure both you and the tenant’s family can move forward.
According to section 324A of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld), if a sole tenant dies, their residential tenancy agreement ends on the earlier of the following days:
- 14 days after the tenant’s personal representative or relative gives the lessor written notice that the agreement ends because of the tenant’s death;
- 14 days after the lessor gives the tenant’s personal representative or relative written notice that the agreement ends because of the tenant’s death;
- the day agreed between the lessor and the tenant’s personal representative or relative; or
- the day decided by QCAT upon an application by the lessor.
However, if no notice, agreement or application to QCAT is made, the tenancy agreement will end one month after the tenant’s death (or 2 days after the tenant’s death for a short term moveable dwelling tenancy).
Meanwhile, if one co-tenant dies, the deceased’s interest in the tenancy ends and the tenancy agreement continues in force with the remaining co-tenant/s.
A deceased tenant’s rights or liabilities, including the rental bond, are not affected by the tenant’s death. The deceased tenant’s estate will therefore be able to claim the tenant’s rental bond. Parties to a co-tenancy agreement will automatically be co-tenants unless it is otherwise stipulated that the parties are joint tenants in the special terms of the tenancy agreement.
Before taking instructions from a personal representative of a deceased tenant,you should ensure you are provided with sufficient documentary evidence to confirm that the representative is the executor or administrator of the deceased tenant’s estate.
In circumstances where the death of a tenant results in damage to a rental property, you should ensure that the personal representative or relative of the deceased person is aware of the damage to the property and the rectification costs.
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