Can I legally evict my tenant and retain some of his possessions as payment?

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2012

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Can I legally evict my tenant and retain some of his possessions as payment?

I have a tenant who is on life support in a coma. He owes me 1/2 of this months rent and $250 in back rent. Will I be responsible for utilities if he cannot pay. Can I evict when he is in hospital, unconscious?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You cannot legally evict your tenant who is on life support in a coma and retain some of his possessions as payment. I suggest that you consult with his family members about the rental situation. If there is a person holding a power of attorney for your tenant, then you can deal with this person concerning unpaid rent, move out and the like in a written document. Make sure you get a copy of any power of attorney.

You unfortunately are caught in a difficult situation. You will be responsible for the utilities if the tenant cannot pay but you can seek repayment from the tenant or his estate in the event he passes. I suggest that you consult further with a landlord tenant attorney about this challenging situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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