How long must I hold onto a former occupant’s belongings?

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How long must I hold onto a former occupant’s belongings?

I had my roommate’s daughter and 1 of her friends living with us rent free. They left over a month ago and left some of their things here. How long do I have to wait before I can dispose of their belongings?

Asked on March 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I would write the former tenants a letter stating the need to get their belongings left behind by a certain date. Keep a copy of the letter for future use and need. If the date to pick up the belongings comes and goes without the items being picked up, you can dispose of the items any way you wish if you believe that collectively they are worth less than $300.

If you believe they are worth more than $300, I would place them in an offsite rental facility under the names of the owners as the renters. I would then send them a copy of the lease and their need to pay on it. If they fail to do so, then the offsite storage facility will auction off the items to help pay for rent not paid.


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