How Do You Handle A Tenant’s Left Behind Property?

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How Do You Handle A Tenant’s Left Behind Property?

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Getting tenants out of your property can be a lot of work. There are inspections to be had, movers to deal with, and possible evictions paperwork to handle. You spend half the time hoping that the couch won’t knock into a wall as a tenant packs up their belongings, and the other half waiting for someone to have a Moving Day Melt Down. All of that is just for when moving day goes off without a hitch. There’s no telling what can go wrong, and sometimes it’s plain and simple – moving day just doesn’t happen.

Oh, sure, the ex-tenants are gone (hopefully). Their stuff is another challenge altogether. What do you do with the leftovers?

What’s Toss-Able

Getting tenants out of your property can be a lot of work. There are inspections to be had, movers to deal with, and possible evictions paperwork to handle. You spend half the time hoping that the couch won’t knock into a wall as a tenant packs up their belongings, and the other half waiting for someone to have a Moving Day Melt Down. All of that is just for when moving day goes off without a hitch. There’s no telling what can go wrong, and sometimes it’s plain and simple – moving day just doesn’t happen.

Oh, sure, the ex-tenants are gone (hopefully). Their stuff is another challenge altogether. What do you do with the leftovers?

What’s Toss-Able

You’ll be happy to know that yes, you can in fact toss out all the obvious garbage that was left behind. This goes past just what was in the bin. Perishable food can go and should before it starts to attract any bugs you’ll want to be wary of. Some bugs move in and then never leave, so you’ll want to make sure that’s handled before anything else. Clean out that pantry before any nests start growing and give the fridge a good once over, as well.

You’ll be happy to know that yes, you can in fact toss out all the obvious garbage that was left behind. This goes past just what was in the bin. Perishable food can go and should before it starts to attract any bugs you’ll want to be wary of. Some bugs move in and then never leave, so you’ll want to make sure that’s handled before anything else. Clean out that pantry before any nests start growing and give the fridge a good once over, as well.

Double Checking

Once you’re sure the trash has been handled, check with local laws and a lawyer before moving down the list. You’ll need to go over a few variables to figure out what you can do with everything else. It’s not just about specific laws your state or city may have, but you’ll need to clarify why your tenant left. Whether they disappeared without a word or just left things behind after an eviction can drastically change what you are allowed to do with their things.

Double Checking

Once you’re sure the trash has been handled, check with local laws and a lawyer before moving down the list. You’ll need to go over a few variables to figure out what you can do with everything else. It’s not just about specific laws your state or city may have, but you’ll need to clarify why your tenant left. Whether they disappeared without a word or just left things behind after an eviction can drastically change what you are allowed to do with their things.

It may be helpful to check the rental contract. If you have a clause written about how you handle abandoned property, it will be a big help, especially for larger items that can be costly to move. If you don’t have one, now is as good a time as any to begin plans for adding one. It should state how you itemize what was left behind, where it all will be stored, and how it will be deducted from the security deposit.

It may be helpful to check the rental contract. If you have a clause written about how you handle abandoned property, it will be a big help, especially for larger items that can be costly to move. If you don’t have one, now is as good a time as any to begin plans for adding one. It should state how you itemize what was left behind, where it all will be stored, and how it will be deducted from the security deposit.

Holding On

You do not have to keep the property within the unit. Since you’ll be busy planning to find a new tenant or moving a new tenant right on in, it is fine to move any abandoned property offsite. It does have to be some place secure, however, as long as it is your job to protect their property.

You will need to notify the tenants that you have their property, but will not store it forever. Many states have laws about how soon you must send the notice, so it is best to get it done as soon as possible. Your written notice must include:

        • the itemized list of abandoned property
        • where you have put the property
        • all incurred fees
        • when they must retrieve said property
        • what will happen to the property if they don’t meet the deadline

The length of time will vary from state to state. In California, you need to hold on to abandoned property for fifteen days, but in Texas, it is sixty. Check with your lawyer to make sure everything is handled correctly for the right amount of time, and after that, you can move forward. Depending on the state and, you may be able to sell the abandoned property and recoup some of the losses. It’s not a bad way to end something so complicated. Hopefully after it all, you may have a few spare dollars in your pocket.

Holding On

You do not have to keep the property within the unit. Since you’ll be busy planning to find a new tenant or moving a new tenant right on in, it is fine to move any abandoned property offsite. It does have to be some place secure, however, as long as it is your job to protect their property.

You will need to notify the tenants that you have their property, but will not store it forever. Many states have laws about how soon you must send the notice, so it is best to get it done as soon as possible. Your written notice must include:

        • the itemized list of abandoned property
        • where you have put the property
        • all incurred fees
        • when they must retrieve said property
        • what will happen to the property if they don’t meet the deadline

The length of time will vary from state to state. In California, you need to hold on to abandoned property for fifteen days, but in Texas, it is sixty. Check with your lawyer to make sure everything is handled correctly for the right amount of time, and after that, you can move forward. Depending on the state and, you may be able to sell the abandoned property and recoup some of the losses. It’s not a bad way to end something so complicated. Hopefully after it all, you may have a few spare dollars in your pocket.

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The nation’s most trusted tenant screening for real estate agents, landlords, and property managers. No cost background checks available 24/7.

©2018 ApplyConnect. All rights reserved

ApplyConnect marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of applyconnect.com. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.