If someone vacates a property we shared and leaves some belongings behind, is that considered abandoned property?

UPDATED: Dec 19, 2011

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If someone vacates a property we shared and leaves some belongings behind, is that considered abandoned property?

I was in a relationship with an individual and we both lived together. He received mail at this residence and establish residency. At one point in the relationship, after an argument, he grabbed belongings of his and left the residence. I own the residence and he was paying rent. I discovered several items that he left. Also, we shared some utility bills in which he was not paying. The total amount of those bills exceed $400. I was advised to keep those items until he paid what was owed to me. I have tried to contact him but he does nothing.

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the person who you shared the property with vacated and left behind articles, I would write him a letter seeking that they be picked up by a certain date, keeping a copy of the letter for future need. If the dollar amount of the articles left behind is less than $300.00, you can dispose of them any way you wish after the time has run for him to claim the items.

I would not hold the left behind items "hostage" for unpaid utility bills. By doing so, you would be doing an improper act.

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