What responsibility does a landlord have for the possessions of a tenant thatwas incarcerated?

A married couple was not paying rent. I served them a 10 day notice to pay or leave the premise. They both agreed to vacate the property. However, due to a marital dispute, the husband got incarcerated during this period, and the wife is not on speaking terms with him. The wife has given back her keys and removed her possessions. However, the husband still has his possessions in the rental and still has his copy of the keys. I have not pursued an eviction with the courts, since they agreed to leave. What responsibility do I have for his property? Can I remove it and lease the unit?

Asked on February 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Until the incarcerated husband has actually vacated the rental you are writing about or you have an order of eviction, you still have a tenant in possession and cannot physically remove any belongings in the rental.

I suggest that given the status of the husband and his remaining possessions in the unit, you consult with a landlord tenant attorney as to serving a 3 day notice to pay or quit on the incarcerated husband or seeing if he would sign some agreement to vacate and allowing his possessions to be placed elsewhere. Such an agreement would be the quickest way of getting him out of possession of the unit.


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