If aperson has moved out of my house and left some stuff behind, how long do I wait until I can get rid of it?

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If aperson has moved out of my house and left some stuff behind, how long do I wait until I can get rid of it?

Asked on March 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In a landlord-tenant situation, when a tenant leaves their personal belongings behind, state statute determines just how long these items must be kept by a landlord.  In OR, a landlord must send a 15-day written notice of abandoned property to the tenant that describes the property in question and asks them to pick up their things.  This notice (marked "please forward" on the envelope) must be sent to the tenant's last known address, any post office box that they have that the landlord knows about, and to their most recent forwarding address.  If the tenant fails to pick up the items within this 15 day period after being given proper notice, then the landlord can sell the things at a reasonable sale to pay for the notice, boxing, storage, sale, and unpaid rent, if any.  A landlord may then throw out or otherwise dispose of property that cannot be sold for a profit. 

Note:  If a tenant cannot pick up their things during the first 15-day notice period, they can write a response to the landlord and set a later date to pick up them up. However, the landlord must receive their letter during the initial 15 day period and the tenant must pick up their belongings no later than 15 days after that.    

 


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