While it is not a pleasant question to consider, landlords should know their rights and obligations if a tenant passes away while in occupancy of their rental unit. If the original term of the tenant’s lease has expired and the tenancy is month-to-month, Civil Code Section 1934 provides that the tenancy terminates upon notice of the tenant’s death. At least one court has determined that when a tenant dies, the tenancy fully terminates 30 days after the tenant’s last payment of rent. (Miller & Desatnik Management Co. v. Bullock (1990) 221 Cal.App.3d Supp. 13, 18) For example, if the tenant paid rent on August 1, and passes away on August 15, the tenancy terminates on September 1.