How long mustI wait beforeI can remove a former tenant’s personal belongings left when he moved out?

UPDATED: Jan 11, 2012

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How long mustI wait beforeI can remove a former tenant’s personal belongings left when he moved out?

Can I tell him that his personal property is outside and that he can come get it and if he doesn’t come and they will be thrown away? It’s been over 2 months since he has moved out and he still hasn’t came and gotten the rest of his belongings. I just want to get rid of them. I just don’t know what to do and I don’t want to break the law.

Asked on January 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the former tenant has seemingly abandoned his personal property after the end of his tenancy, you need to do the following:

1. send a written letter to the former tenant's forwarding address seeking pick up of the belongings within 10 days or you will dispose of them. Keep a copy of the letter for future need and reference.

2. if not picked up in the set time period, and if you believe the items are worth less than $300 total, you can dispose of them any way you want.

3. if worth more than $300, you should take them to an offsite storage center and place them in it with the name and last known address of the former renter as the tenant on the offsite storage rental. Send a copy of the lease to the former tenant so that he will know where the items are. Keep a copy of the letter. If he fails to pay the rent, the offsite storage facility will auction off the items to pay the rent that is due per code.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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