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Upon death, who is responsible for cleaning out apartment

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Upon death, who is responsible for cleaning out apartment

Postby nycrsa1 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:59 am

A friend asked me to be executor for their will/estate, taking care of their papers and apartment. They have a lot of very heavy furniture on the fourth floor of a walk up. Before I accept, I want to understand who is responsible for getting rid of all her furniture and possessions? ? She says just leave it and the landlord will have to clean it up.
Does the landlord clean out the apartment upon her death? Am I responsible? If I leave their furniture (bed, desks, sofas in the apartment), does landlord sue me?
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Postby ronin » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:27 am

I'm not sure. However, you should check the furniture for value. Firstly, have your friend and her relatives search the apartment for valuables together- including things like cash in a sock. Then call a furniture antique or bidding store. Usually, the old furniture is worth several hundred dollars a piece because the old stuff was made with sturdy and valuable woods. They can come take a look and give you an estimate as to the value. Try several places, including upstate furniture dealers. They will drive 5 or more hours to score some vintage furnishings.

Compare your bids and go with the best deal. They will do all the moving for you. But make sure you checked for valuables before they come (inside drawers, etc.) Nothing sucks quite like a furniture dealer paying you $700 for the goods and then reaching in a drawer (you just gave him) and pulling out $2000 laughing at you as he drives away.

Technically, the estate is responsible for leaving the place broom-clean. In reality though, the LL has people who do it faster and easier and isn't about to pay a lawyer to go after you in surrogates court. But everything left becomes abandoned. So once again, nothing sucks like watching the super breaking some stupid old ugly bottle the elder kept gathering dust in the corner and finding $2000 and several gold items worth $5000, and cackling "you abandoned it sucker!"
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Postby concord » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:29 am

A landlord suing a dead person’s estate for removal of furniture; that would be a new all-time low.

Anyway, you could simply have a clause added to the will stating that reasonable expenses can be deducted from the estate for payment of rubbish removal from the apartment if so warranted.

:clock:
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Postby Landlord's Boy » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:11 pm

The executor is responsible.

I know of one case where the heir was too old and feeble to handle it and simply handed the key to the super. She surrendered a lot of valuables that way, I guess.
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Postby TenantNet » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:25 pm

What I've seen supers do is acquire the left possessions and keep them in the building's basement, only to try and sell them to new tenants.

Years ago when I caught my LL and super demanding key money (they took a check), they denied it claiming the check was payment for furniture and lamps. Of course everyone has lamps ... how to you prove you didn't buy such stuff from the super? One way is to demand he show the bill of sale from where he acquired it. Usually it's from a dead tenant.

I won the case.
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Postby ronin » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:10 pm

What I've seen supers do is acquire the left possessions and keep them in the building's basement, only to try and sell them to new tenants.


And that is actually perfectly legal and legit (albiet unseemly). Once abandoned it is technically garbage or salvage.

The saddest part is that the executors often don't do enough. And if the estate has an administrator, particularly the public one, the super's catch may be the least of the heirs worries.
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Postby JaneB82 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:15 pm

How about someone who's relative had died but was not discovered for about 10 days. The landlord tried to sue the heir because of the mess the decomposing body had left.

She cleaned the apartment herself as much as she could. In any case, the landlord's pursuit was quickly dismissed.
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Postby TenantNet » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:21 pm

Make sure he can prove how much he spend on Lysol.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:24 pm

Hi All
Jane's post beat Concord's all time low :roll: disgraceful
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Postby concord » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:38 pm

Yeah I guess in the ‘JaneB82’ case the LL was having a hard time in proving that, the deceased tenant was guilty of dying and consequently also liable for the cosmetic damage that his corpse caused.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:23 pm

Hi All
It's like watching The Pirates of the Carribean. So what I've learned is to have a sale to ensure nothing of value is left & spend it on my self, make that pesky super who is always friendly for a buck the estate recipient, roll up carpet/padding, then expire on the bare wood floor. Well...it serves them right.
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