What Happens if a Tenant Dies?

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There are rules to follow if you want to cancel or take over the lease of a deceased tenant. If you’re the liquidator of the succession (executor of the estate) or the roommate of the deceased tenant, what are your options?

You’re the executor of the estate

The death of a tenant, even if they live by themselves, does not automatically end a lease.

To end the lease, you must give the landlord a written notice.

You must send this notice within six months of the tenant’s death. The lease will be canceled two months after you send the notice.

You can find a model “Notice of lessee’s death” on the website of the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL, formerly Régie du logement or rental board).

You live in the apartment

There are two possibilities.

If you signed the lease, you would continue as the tenant and remain responsible for the lease.

If you have not signed the lease, you can become the primary tenant if you:

  • lived with the tenant at the time of their death,
  • still live in the apartment, and
  • send a written notice to the landlord within two months of the tenant’s death.

The notice must mention who you are and that you wish to stay in the apartment. This is called exercising your right to stay. You can find a model “Notice of lessee’s death” on the website of the TAL.