Death can be unexpected and difficult to bear, whether it arrives at home or across the hall in your apartment building.
It’s important to be prepared for tragedies that may occur. This includes knowing how to handle a death cleanup of a tenant or loved one.
Keep these suggestions in mind in case you do encounter an unexpected passing in your life or your building.
How To Handle a Death Cleanup of a Tenant or Loved One
Be thoughtful and sensitive with loved ones and friends of the deceased.
A death cleanup can be extremely painful and traumatic for all involved.
No matter your role in the situation, it is important to be sensitive to the needs of the deceased’s loved ones, who will likely be emotionally upset with their loss. Be supportive and assist where you can if it is necessary. Encourage other tenants to be respectful and not intrusive.
If you are a landlord whose tenant has just passed, make sure you keep the other tenants of the building informed. Communicate openly and actively and make sure they are familiar with the next procedures.
In your communications with your tenants, be sure to protect the privacy of the deceased and the deceased’s loved ones. Maintain confidentiality and respect. Note that you are available to answer any questions within the limits of this confidentiality.
For a tenant death, navigate legal waters carefully.
If you are a landlord, you should already be familiar with procedures to take when a tenant passes.
Your top priority, after contacting the police if they haven’t already been, should be to make sure that the deceased’s belongings and property are kept secure until an executor of the state is identified or named.
However, it is important that you read the lease agreement to understand the terms stated there about a tenant’s death. Sometime’s a lease may not require you to keep the deceased’s possessions secure until the tenant’s emergency contact or state executor is named.
When an executor is named, ensure that you are given proof of this status.
Most people do not realize that state laws vary regarding the termination of a lease when a tenant passes. In some states, the death of a tenant won’t end a lease. Be sure you are familiar with the law in your state regarding tenant death.
Professional assistance is recommended in any situation.
Whether you are a tenant or a landlord experiencing a neighbor’s or loved one’s passing, professional assistance is important in any death cleanup.
Contact a death cleanup service immediately to ensure that the individual’s body is removed safely, effectively, and respectfully in accordance with the family’s or executor’s wishes.
If you are a landlord, it is important that you oversee the death cleanup and notify tenants in advance in order to respect the deceased’s privacy during the event.
Communicate with the cleanup team throughout the process to ensure that it is efficient and respectful. Be supportive of loved ones who are present.
Hold a meeting or send out a letter or email to existing tenants following the cleanup to notify them of its completion.
If you seek assistance with an unattended death cleanup, we can help. We provide effective and compassionate service to all who require our assistance.
A death cleanup is a difficult thing, but it is important to handle it safely and mindfully. Reach out to us today with any questions or concerns.