How to handle a cleanup after a death in your rental property

When a death occurs in a property that your rent out, it can be very difficult for many reasons.  Aside from the obvious trauma caused by sudden death, there are quite a few people involved.  Possible co-renters, the families of the renters and the deceased, possibly a property manager and you, the property owner.

Where we specialize is the cleanup of the property.  Our goal is always to complete the decontamination and cleanup as soon as possible to eliminate any further health risk due to the biohazard present and to reduce any further psychological trauma from the scene.  Our recommendation is always to have the cleanup completed first and have the rest figured out after.  The problem that arises here is who pays for cleanup and any structural replacements necessary such as carpet, paint or drywall.

Most of the cleanups we perform after deaths are covered by the property owner’s insurance.  That same property insurance also covers any replacements needed.  The question property owners have then is: who pays for my deductible?  Some property owners, given the situation, are willing to pay for the deductible.  Others are not so willing, which is understandable.  A common solution in the past has been for Bio1 to complete the cleanup.  We then initiate a property claim with the property owner’s insurance.  We take care of as much as possible so all parties involved have less on their plate.  If any further paint or replacement carpet is needed, the insurance company will then contact the property owner to set that up.  After this the property has been fully restored and property insurance has paid Bio1 for the decontamination and the carpet vendor or paint vendor for replacement carpet or paint.  The only remaining factor is the deductible.  Many times the most reasonable method of paying the deductible, if the property owner is not willing to pay it, is to deduct it from the renter’s security deposit.  Typically security deposits are large enough to cover a property insurance deductible.

This is the ideal scenario for not only having the cleanup and restoration completed the most efficiently and compassionately, but also keeping out of pocket costs as low as possible for all parties involved.

For any death or trauma related situation regarding renters or property insurance, we are available 24 hours a day to help anyone try and determine the best course of action.