Q: Does my wife’s family owe lot rent
My wives father passed recently. Her father owned a mobile home and was the only person on the title after he died with no will. He did not own the land it was on and had a rental contract with the land owner. My wife and her brothers are under the impression that because the title is only in their fathers name they do not owe on-going rent to the property owner. I am of the opinion that as the people inheriting his estate they will owe rent because it is now their trailer even if their names are not on the title. Who is correct?
A: The estate of the deceased father, not the heirs, are responsible for the debt. To the extent that the estate includes property of the deceased father, the property is liable for the debt. This would be all property of the deceased father's, not just the mobile home itself. In Oregon there is a statute which dictates the order of priority for paying the debts of the decedent out of the decedent's property. Read ORS 115.125. https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/115.125 Now the debt against a fixed mobile home on a rented space may have other characteristics. It may be the the space rental contract gives the property owner a lien on the mobile home fo rents due. You would have to read the rental agreement. But if there is a lien accruing against the home itself, then the landlord may just need to foreclose on the rental home. Usually the best thing to do is talk to the landlord and figure out a mutually agreeable solution such as selling the mobile home to someone who will take over the space lease. Mobile homes don't hold their value very well so I would hurry and figure out a solution and be done with it. Talk to an Attorney if you need more advice.
Nina Whitehurst agrees with this answer
A: You are basically correct. Your father-in-law's estate is liable for the space rent. Whoever inherits the estate (his intestate heirs) will have to pay this debt before they will be able to inherit. Since the rent accrues every month your wife should hire a probate attorney to discuss whether or not there is a need for a probate. If the mobile home is truly the only asset then the intestate heirs can transfer it by Affidavit with the Building Codes Division without the need for a probate. However, often there is a bank account or other asset that also needs to be transferred. A probate attorney will assist you.
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