Executors sometimes let friends or relatives live in estate property and not collect fair rent. The executor can be personally liable for lost rent.
Where an executor permits tenants to live rent-free in estate property and the court is satisfied that the property was capable of earning rent money for the estate during that period of time, the executor can be held responsible to the estate for the rental income that was lost as a result.
Sowa Estate, Re, 2003 ABQB 761 (Alta. Q.B.) per Veit J., at para. 3. stated
“I have concluded that Mr. Sowa should repay a total of $28,047 to the estate in relation to rent. The evidence before the Court is that, while he controlled the estate property, Michael Sowa granted tenants rent-free periods and rent reduction periods. While a private owner of property can dispose of that property however he chooses, a trustee holds for the benefit of others and must make prudent decisions concerning the property. In other words, if the property was capable of earning money for the estate, it should have been doing so. I am satisfied with the calculations which indicate that a total of $9,951.00 represents rent available, but lost, during the period. In the result, Mr. Sowa must repay a total of $28,047 representing rent received plus rent lost.”