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Dead Man Receives Letter Stating He Still Owes January's Rent

Dead Man Receives Letter Stating He Still Owes January's Rent

The daughter of a man who recently died was shocked to receive a letter on his behalf stating that his rent for the month was still due.

Deana Barber received the letter from her father Robert's property manager. Her dad died in his sleep just days before Christmas in his apartment in Milwaukee.

However, the letter stated that - by law - he was responsible for the January rent because he 'vacated the property'.

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It added that the company, BG Lein Management, is 'withholding the entire security deposit' because of his outstanding rent for the first month of this year.

Deana told TMJ4 News that she called up the company to be told that her dad had broken his lease, simply by dying.

Robert Barber. Credit: TMJ4
Robert Barber. Credit: TMJ4

She said: "Just like, my mind is just blown. Like, I don't know what else to say about that, honestly."

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The paramedics had to partially damage the door of Robert's apartment to get inside, but Deana says that she spent days after her dad's death cleaning the flat and returned all the keys, as well as the garage door opener.

Deana continued: "I said, 'You guys really do that to people?' And she just kept repeating, 'It's Wisconsin state law, it's Wisconsin state law.'"

According to the aforementioned state law, a deceased tenant's lease is terminated '60 days after the landlord receives notice...' or 'the expiration of the term of the rental agreement', whichever happens first.

That means that Robert - a Vietnam War veteran - is responsible for the payments of early 2021. Which in turn means that Deana is responsible for them.

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She claims that the security deposit from his apartment was going to help pay for funeral costs.

Veteran Robert died in his sleep before Christmas. Credit: TMJ4
Veteran Robert died in his sleep before Christmas. Credit: TMJ4

A BG Lein statement reads: "We are sorry that the family is having to deal with this loss.

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"Our team tries to be as supportive as possible with our tenants and their families, especially throughout this very difficult year.

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"Too many have faced terrible medical issues, death, and financial hardship. We try to be respectful and flexible throughout challenging communication with family members.

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"The team puts extra effort into the coordination of inspections of the unit. We do our best to attempt to relieve pressure as families try to go through personal items, for example.

"In some cases, family members are not close by and our staff has more regular contact with an individual that is living alone.

"Our standard practice is to be reasonable and meet tenants in the middle whenever possible, while also following the law and being consistent so everyone feels we are fair.

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"This includes reducing or waiving some of the outstanding charges in accounts (late fees, small rent balances, etc.), zeroing out charges related to general cleaning, carpet cleaning, typical costs for light repairs to drywall or replacement of blinds for example, or keeping an apartment off-market for multiple weeks.

The letter from the lawyers. Credit: TMJ4
The letter from the lawyers. Credit: TMJ4

The statement continues: "The language in our standard form letters may strike an unsympathetic tone, particularly in difficult situations, however, we use standard content across the board to ensure consistency and adherence to state law.

"The law requires us to list details and include supporting documentation and also respond in a certain time frame.

"Our staff tries to walk people through these details over the phone so they understand the letters we send out and their relation to the lease.

"We don't surprise people. If a tenant owes money, that is clear. If there is light, moderate, or severe cleaning or repairs, this is clear.

"When tenancy ends in these difficult situations we work with families, friends, and power of attorneys throughout the challenges of cleaning out items and the transition to closing out lease terms.

"We do our best to ease the pain of that process and absorb some costs to help make that transition a little easier."

Deana hoped to use the deposit for her dad's funeral costs. Credit: TMJ4
Deana hoped to use the deposit for her dad's funeral costs. Credit: TMJ4

However, Deana still believes that the company is acting heartlessly.

"Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should," she concluded.

Featured Image Credit: TMJ4

Topics: US News, Weird

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Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekend he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on [email protected]