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“My father recently passed away. He had rental properties  in his name and one of the tenants phoned me to hear if  he has to move out out now that my father has passed away.
What is the position? Has the lease come to an end?”

Lease agreements don’t generally terminate on the death  of the landlord. The appointed executor of the estate of  the deceased will take over the administration of the  estate and transfer the residue of the estate, after paying  out legatees, to the heirs. The rights and obligations in  terms of the lease agreement will pass to the heirs,  provided that the heir/legatee accepts the inheritance.

The terms of the lease agreement will be paramount in  determining the grounds for termination of the lease. Should  the agreement specifically provide that the lease terminates  on the death of your father (the landlord) then this position  will apply when the landlord dies. A tenant will however have  to be allowed a reasonable period to vacate the premises.

Given that tenants could be affected by the death of your  father, it may be prudent to approach your executor to review  the lease agreements and determine the termination provisions  thereof to avoid continuing uncertainty in this regard and  ensure proper communicationwith your tenants on their  continuing rental position.

SOURCE:  BBB Attorneys

Author: Veda Palmer

In terms of the Government Gazette Vol:657 Dated 26 March 2020 No 43164 - Information regarding COVID19 can be found at HERE