A new lawsuit claims a landlord continued to collect rent after a tenant’s death. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
After Jennifer Blumin died in a plane crash in 2017, the landlord of her $17,000 a month New York City apartment agreed to cancel the lease, but payments continued to be automatically withdrawn from her bank account, according to a lawsuit her parents just filed. Seems obvious that the law should prevent a landlord from continuing to charge rent if the tenant dies, but here’s where the law and basic human kindness diverge.
While some states like Pennsylvania prohibit so-called “death penalty” provisions in a lease that would otherwise require the tenant’s estate to pay for the whole remaining lease term, death does not automatically terminate a lease. If I were a landlord though, I certainly wouldn’t want to be judged by any higher authority if I continued to charge rent to the deceased.