If your father owned the property in his sole name and did not leave a will, his heirs at law inherit. These are his closest family members. Each state has a statute setting out the order in which relatives inherit, with spouse and children usually first on the list, often followed by the parents and/or siblings. Unlike co-ownership, however, this inheritance doesn't happen automatically.
If your father owned the property with a surviving spouse, or if he co-owned with another joint tenant, the property may pass automatically to that person when he dies. Once that person shows proof of her ownership, tenants can pay the rent to her.