If my tenant finally left the apartment via the Marshalls but left his personal property behind, legally do I have to store it or can I throw it out on garbage day?

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If my tenant finally left the apartment via the Marshalls but left his personal property behind, legally do I have to store it or can I throw it out on garbage day?

Asked on January 5, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. If it appears that your tenant has vacated the rental and abandoned the property left behind, under the laws of most states in this country, if the property left behind is worth less than $300.00 collectively, you can dispose of it any way you desire. I recommend taking photographs of it and documenting what was left behind just in case the former tenant claims that he or she did not abandon the property.

If the property is worth more than $300.00, I suggest that you take the items to an offsite storage facility and place the lease in the name of the former tenant with any and all forwarding information. Send a letter to the former tenant's last known address other than your rental as to where the items are now located. If the tenant fails to pay the rent, the offsite storage facility will auction off the property to oay overdue rent.


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