A tenant in my Colorado park has just passed away. She lived alone and did not leave a will. She has a disinterested brother who lives a couple hundred miles away. Not to sound cold, but I am without rent for the lot on which her personal trailer sits for February and I don’t want it to go beyond that. Phone calls to the brother are going unanswered. What to do?
I’ve had this exact scenario. Here’s what to do, in my opinion. If the rent is unpaid, start your evictions process. This is not to be cruel, but to speed up the inevitable. Notify the relative that you are evicting the tenant, and that you would like to buy the trailer, or he needs to start paying rent. If you pressure him, he will probably just give it to you, rather than pay rent. If he does nothing, then get your writ, let it sit in the park abandoned, and then use the correct, legal procedure in your state to take it as abandoned property. Once you enter the trailer (only as allowed by law so you are not accused of any type of theft) take all the personal items that could be thought of as such (photos, trophies, etc.) and mail those to the relative, carefully packed so nothing gets broken. That’s because you are required in most states to store those items for a specified period otherwise. In addition, take photos of everything in the house, so the heirs don’t later claim that you stole the priceless Van Gogh. And it would be a great idea, in these rare cases, to have a competent attorney instruct you every step of the way so that you don’t get into any liability.
You’re other alternative is to sit and wait for the relatives to deal with the house without you pushing them, which means that you’ll sit there for one year to infinity, with no rent.
I had the same situation in my park 2 years ago and moved quickly to claim as abandoned. Once I had legal possession I flipped it to a home renovator for $20,000.
It was a mid 70s completely trashed including flooded and moldy but is now the nicest home in the park with a excellent high quality tenant.
Granted in your area homes likely do not sell as high as my area but profit is profit regardless of the amount.
Thanks for your replies. I’m investigating how to get this brother’s address as well as abandonment rules in CO. I do appreciate the help!