Inheriting an Interest in a Lease (Guide)
Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab
Heirship Rights and Tenant Rights
In Louisiana, unless the lease specifically says otherwise, the death of the landlord of the tenant does not automatically end the lease.
This means that the heirs of the landlord inherit the leased property subject to the lease and the right to keep the money paid as rent. It also means the heirs of a tenant inherit the right to possess the property and the other responsibilities under the lease, like payment of rent.
Use the tabs above to learn more about inheriting interest as a landlord or tenant.
The landlord's heirs are required to honor the terms of the lease. This means that the landlord's heirs cannot terminate the lease without the proper notice provided for by law. If the lease contained a provision allowing the landlord to terminate the lease, then the landlord must follow the procedure dictated in that provision. The landlord's heirs also inherit the right to keep the money paid as rent.
Although succession of these rights happens by law, the landlord's heirs will need to show their rights to the leased property. In an eviction case, the landlord's heirs will probably need to prove their heirship. It is probably a good idea to provide any tenants with proof of heirship when notifying them that they will need to pay rent to a different person.
As the new landlord, the heirs are also required to uphold the law and other terms of the lease. This might include making necessary repairs to the home, respecting the tenant's privacy, and returning the security deposit paid to the deceased landlord at the start of the lease.
When someone passes away, their interest in any rented property is inherited by their heirs. If you inherit an interest in rented property from someone who recently passed away, you can be liable for payment of rent or other obligations under the lease. As an heir to the tenant, to cancel the lease, an heir will need to follow the procedures outlined in the lease.
Essentially, if you are the heir to the tenant under a lease agreement, you "step into their shoes" with respect to the lease, with all of the rights and obligations they had under the lease. This is even true even if the tenant was a corporation or partnership that has dissolved or liquidated, and you inherited their interest in the lease.
As the new "tenant," heirs are also entitled to any security deposit the deceased renter paid at the beginning of the lease, assuming there's no legal reason for it to be kept by the landlord.