If a non-household member comits suicide in an apartment, who is responsible for the cleanup?

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If a non-household member comits suicide in an apartment, who is responsible for the cleanup?

Which party is responsible to pay for proper bio clean up – the landlord or the tenant (their family).

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The landlord would not be responsible, unless the lease specifically makes the landlord responsible for what you call "bio clean up." The landlord's only responsibilities, apart  from those defined in the  lease, are to repair conditions *of the building* affecting habitability. The fact that someone committed suicide in the premises is not something the landlord is responsible for, any more than the landlord would be responsible for taking out or cleaning up any organic matter or debris of any kind left in the premises by a tenant or the tenant's guests.

The exception would be if it was one of the landlord's employees who committed suicide in the tenant's premises; then the landlord would likely have to pay for the clean up.

If so inclined, it is possible the tenant could seek reimbursement of the clean up costs from the decedent's estate.


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