Tenant's Abandoned Personal Property

by Mary Anne Ragragio

Posted on 2019-08-20 20:17:02

 Sample notice.JPG


Abandoned tenant’s personal property left some landlords to wonder on how to proceed and what are the rules you can and cannot do depends on the state. It is important that you know your state rules regarding the issues and on how to advise or notify your tenant, and how much time you should give them before disposing of, selling, or donating tenant’s personal property. Disposal of property that was abandoned by the tenant if there are items of personal property left in the unit, in the property, or in any storage area given by the landlord after the rental agreement has terminated, the landlord may consider the property to be abandoned.


The question is how long before you consider tenant abandoned the property before you are legally allowed to get rid of the tenant’s personal belongings. The answer is it depends on your landlord-tenant state law. After keeping the property in a certain period of time, you may notify the tenant by sending them a Notice of Abandoned Personal Property.


What are the landlord’s responsibilities when moving the tenant’s unclaimed property belongings out of the rented unit?

  • Make a list of all tenant’s unclaimed property.
  • Make sure to be very careful of all of your tenant's property when moving it out of the rented unit. Make sure also that you don’t damage anything, left anything behind, or lost any of the tenant’s property.
  • Keep tenant’s unclaimed property in a safe place in a certain period of time.
  • Keep all records in a certain period of time.
  • Advice the tenant or his/her representative that the personal property of the tenant has been stored in a safe place or advise them if the tenant’s personal property has been disposed of.


A landlord can reckon abandonment of tenant’s personal property in the following situation:

  • The tenant already left.
  • Tenant left personal belongings and furniture.
  • The landlord doesn’t know the tenant’s whereabouts and rent is unpaid.


Will, it cost to move the tenant’s property out of the rented unit?

It depends on how much items of tenant’s property were left inside the rented unit. If it’s just a few items that a landlord can carry and transfer by himself, the landlord may just keep it in a safe place where the landlord doesn’t have to pay for anything. But if in case that there are too many items a tenant left behind inside the rented unit, the landlord would need somebody’s help this time or check/inquire to any registered moving company if necessary for the cost. But like what I have mentioned above the landlord may keep the tenant's unclaimed personal property in a certain period of time, however, if the tenant failed to claim or pay for whatever damage has been done for leaving the property unclaimed on the given period of time to claim tenant's property, the landlord may sell, donate or dispose of all those things the tenant left in landlord's property. 






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