Gay Tenant Dies! Families CRAZY! Legal advice? - Posted by Melony-FL

Posted by Bill Gatten on November 23, 2000 at 14:19:27:


Not being an attorney, I can’t tell you what one would say, However, if I were in your shoes I think I’d have everything put into storage and refuse to release anything to anyone without a court order.

I’m not an authority on landlord tenant law, but I’d assume that would be your right as the owner of the property and maybe the most prudent course of action.

And too, let me say I’m sorry for the loss of your friends, and apologize for the very distasteful and misplaced response below (re. “Gill”) in the face of such a tragedy.


Gay Tenant Dies! Families CRAZY! Legal advice? - Posted by Melony-FL

Posted by Melony-FL on November 23, 2000 at 11:39:55:

This is a new one on me! I need help!!!

I had 2 Gay tenants, lets call them Joe and Alan. They have been together for 18 years, although Joe was married previously and has children. Alan only has siblings. Three months ago, Joe was diagnosed with cancer, and proceded down hill quickly. At the same time, Alan was diagnosed with AIDS. Last week, BOTH were admitted to the hospital, totally unable to care for themselves. Last Friday, Joe died.

Alan is still in the hospital, but has only a short time to live. His mind is totally gone. and we can’t even have a conversation with him. The doctors have told the family he will never recover, and he must go into a home to be taken care of until he passes.

Enter the families. Each is demanding that they get into the apartment and claim all of the belongings. Joes family says that, since Joe was the “provider” and was the only financial supporter in the household, all of the things belong to him, and should be divided amongst his family. Alan’s family says that since he is the “surviver” and the other signator on the lease, everything in the apartment belongs to him. They even got upset when Joe’s son went in and took out some of his personal stuff!

As bad as we feel (they were PERFECT tenants and good friends), we need to get this settled and their things out of the apartment. We have suggested that they sell everything, and split any income they receive. I know in a traditional marriage, Alan would receive everything. However, this is NOT a traditional marriage, and Alan will never be returning home, anyway!

Of course, there has been no will found. The sad part is that, neither of the families had much to do with them while alive, now everyone is coming out of the woodwork.

Can anyone give me any answers?

ERROR: Subject exceeds 50 characters - Posted by chris

Posted by chris on November 24, 2000 at 18:20:00:


In addition to the fine advise already mentioned you may want to head over to where you can get some free education on this area. They also have books covering this area which you most likely can find at the library or purchase for under $20. You will definately want some professional advise-as already mentioned, unless the tenants had trusts or wills drawn up their families may have more of a claim than either partner.

-Good luck,Chris

Re: Gay Tenant Dies! - Posted by Melony-FL

Posted by Melony-FL on November 24, 2000 at 12:11:32:

I want to thank Bill and David for their responses to my post. I will take your advice. I also want to say that I did not read the response from Gill, as the posts and follow-ups were deleted from this website before I got to them. However, I do see the strings and can get the jist of his response.

Thanks God we don’t all believe as he does, as these guys were our friends. They were some of the best tenants we ever had, and what we are basically trying to do is to take care of them as I know they would have wanted someone who cares to protect their rights while they can’t.

Re: Gay Tenant Dies! Families CRAZY! - Posted by David

Posted by David on November 23, 2000 at 15:11:48:

I would place first things first from your point of view - security of your asset (the apartment) and keeping cash flow going. Stay above the family nonsense.

To the extent that law allows you to, keep the family out of the apartment. I’d expect your state law to cover rights of survivorship between the two tenants - this should be your guide. If the survining tenant is “incompetant” due to illness, does his family have power-of-attorney to manage his affairs? And the deceased tenant - if the survivor did not legally inherit ownership of the belongings, who legally has the responsibility for it? Sort this out so it’s clear who you should respond to, and who should be paying the rent.

To the extent that the law allows, as soon as practical, pack everything up and store it - keep a detailed inventory - and re-rent the apartment. Give the inventory to both families, tell them to sort out their problems in court or wherever and submit the bills for the storage to the estate(s). Consider making a claim against the estate(s) for unpaid rent/storage/damage whatever as appropriate.