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CONTEXT

A tenant in Florida passes away. Based on this attorney's evaluation

In this instance, Florida law prevents a landlord from recovering possession of the rental unit except when the last remaining tenant dies, personal property remains on the premises, rent is unpaid, at least 60 days have passed after a tenant’s death, and the landlord has not been notified in writing of a probate estate or the name of a personal representative appointed by the Court. Only after recovery of the rental unit, may the landlord begin the process of removing the personal property of the tenant.

The excerpt indicates all 5 conditions must be met before rental unit 'recovery'

  1. the last remaining tenant dies,
  2. personal property remains on the premises,
  3. rent is unpaid,
  4. at least 60 days have passed after a tenant’s death,
  5. and the landlord has not been notified in writing of a probate estate or the name of a personal representative appointed by the Court.

As I understand all 5 of these conditions must be met before recovery can take place. What would happen if #5 is not met (i.e. landlord is notified): would the rental property remain 'unrecoverable' indefinitely?

Update

For the purpose of this conversation, recovery refers event / state where the landlord legally regains control of the rental property. The cited article indicates:

Only after recovery of the rental unit, may the landlord begin the process of removing the personal property of the tenant.

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No. The attorneys' advice is misleading.

The heirs may recover the personal property at any time by having someone appointed as executor by the probate court. Once the executor is appointed, the executor may remove the personal property and take possession of the leased real property. Fl. Stat. 733.607. This can be done whether or not there is an will.

They could also recover the personal property using Florida's small estates procedure which is a greatly simplified alternative to the usual formal probate process in Florida. This could consist either of summary administration pursuant to Fl. Stat. 735.201 et seq. (which is a greatly simplified version of formal probate), or of by "disposition without administration" pursuant to Fl. Stat. 735.301 in which a court issues a letter directing anyone in possession of personal property of the decedent to make a one time turnover of the property to them, after receiving a simple application.

If the landlord has not received notice of the appointment of an executor for sixty days after the date of death, the landlord may take possession of the personal property or remove it, without bringing a lawsuit per Fl. Stat. 83.59(d). Usually, in this situation, the landlord would simply dispose of the property or dump it on the sidewalk.

If the landlord has received notice of the appointment of an executor, the landlord may take possession by bringing an eviction action against the executor under Fl. Stat. 83.59(2) and (3)(a), just as the landlord would if the tenant were alive.

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The relevant statute appears to be Fl. Stat. 83.59, the relevant bit of which says in part

(3) The landlord shall not recover possession of a dwelling unit except:

(a) In an action for possession under subsection (2) or other civil action in which the issue of right of possession is determined;

which means that the unit itself is not indefinitely unrecoverable. This section addresses recovery of possession of the dwelling unit, not recovery of property contained within the unit. The section continues:

or (d) When the last remaining tenant of a dwelling unit is deceased, personal property remains on the premises, rent is unpaid, at least 60 days have elapsed following the date of death, and the landlord has not been notified in writing of the existence of a probate estate or of the name and address of a personal representative. This paragraph does not apply to a dwelling unit used in connection with a federally administered or regulated housing program, including programs under s. 202, s. 221(d)(3) and (4), s. 236, or s. 8 of the National Housing Act, as amended.

which sums up the 5 points in the OP and the linked analysis: again, this is about recovery of the unit, not the contents of the unit.

Ch. 715 does have something to say about landlords and tenant personal property, but nothing having to do with probate or death. However, there is a separate concern, regarding the landlord's obligation to protect tenant's property. A landlord cannot just allow entry to a unit, for the purpose of taking tenant's property: there is a legal process where this can happen, but not just because someone says "let me in". When a person dies, his property goes through probate, to determine how it should be disposed of. It does not matter if the person coming to claim the property is a sister, brother, mother, son, or ex-wife. If the tenant dies intestate (no will), the courts will decide what happens to his property; if he has a will, the courts will order distribution of the stuff according to the will. In either event, somebody has to go to the courthouse and get some papers (a letter of testamentary), which authorizes an individual to disburse the estate. (If there is trust, the process is slightly different, but it doesn't just amount to saying "I'm his sister").

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