How long do I have before I can get rid of a tenant’s abandoned property?

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How long do I have before I can get rid of a tenant’s abandoned property?

My husband and I allowed a friend to move his RV into our driveway and live in it until he finished school. We did not have a written lease, but a verbal agreement of qualifications he had for staying. Due to him not meeting the qualifications we asked him to leave. He has a lot of stuff stored in our garage and we would like to get the stuff out, what is the process of notifying him and how long must we wait before we dispose of it or sell it?

Asked on July 30, 2011 Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Most states have laws requiring the landlord to give written notice to the former tenant of his or her need to retrieve property left behind within a certain time period or the landlord has options to remove the itmes.

Depending upon the value of the items left behind, the landlord after the notice to the former tenant has been given with no response in their retrieval, can either discard or donate the items to charity (total value usually less than $300) or have an auction after notice is given where the proceeds are then deposited with the sheriff's office. Tha landlord can deduct the cost of storage and the auction from the amount received.

A better way to get rid of the abandoned items is to give written notice to the former tenant that the items have been taken to an offsite storage company for safekeeping with all information needed for retrieval. When the monthly fee is not paid, the offsite storage company gives the notice for the auction to the former tenant to pay unpaid storage fees.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Most states have laws requiring the landlord to give written notice to the former tenant of his or her need to retrieve property left behind within a certain time period or the landlord has options to remove the itmes.

Depending upon the value of the items left behind, the landlord after the notice to the former tenant has been given with no response in their retrieval, can either discard or donate the items to charity (total value usually less than $300) or have an auction after notice is given where the proceeds are then deposited with the sheriff's office. Tha landlord can deduct the cost of storage and the auction from the amount received.

A better way to get rid of the abandoned items is to give written notice to the former tenant that the items have been taken to an offsite storage company for safekeeping with all information needed for retrieval. When the monthly fee is not paid, the offsite storage company gives the notice for the auction to the former tenant to pay unpaid storage fees.


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