When a tenant leaves their belongings behind how long do they have to claim them?

UPDATED: Feb 20, 2012

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When a tenant leaves their belongings behind how long do they have to claim them?

I had a roommate who refused to pay half the bills (rent, power, cable). I then gave her a paper saying before she moves out she will also have to repair the holes she left in the wall. She moved out on the 17th and grabbed most of her cloths. On the 18th she came back and took the rest of her belongings, but like everyone does left a handful of things behind. Now 2 days later she is saying that I stole them.

Asked on February 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Idaho


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your former roommate left items behind upon move out, I suggest that you simply allow her to take possession of the items after she sign a a receipt for them. To determine abandonment is an issue of intent under the facts of a given situation and the mere leaving of items behind for 30 days or less does not under the law amount to an abandonment of the belongings from what you have written.

The two day period does not amount to an abandonment of the items under the law.

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