Do I have legal authority to get rid of abandoned propery?

I live in an apartment and I let an acquaintance stay for a week and a half about 4 months ago. He left all of his property and he has not been back to retrieve his possessions. I have sent him numerous facebook messages and texts in regards to his belongings and the timeframe I would like them out. He has failed to get into contact with me.

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your former "guest" in your apartment has moved on leaving items behind that you want out, you need to first write him or her (or e mail him or her) as soon as possible about the need to pick up the items left behind staitng a specific date for their retrieval and if not picked up by then, you will dispose of the items. Keep a copy of this letter (e mail transmission) for future reference.

If the acquaintance (former guest, not a tenant) fails to retrieve the left behind items by the designated date, you have the following options:

1. if the items left behind collectively are worth less than $300.00 in your opinion, you can dispose of them any way you desire.

2. contact a relative or other friend of the acquaintence to see if he or she will pick up the items.

3. take the items to an offsite storage facility and enter into a lease for their storage under the name of the acquaintance with his last known address and phone number. Let him know in writing where the items are located. If he does not pay for the monthly rental, the offsite storage facility will then auction off  the items to pay past due rent.

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