What are personal property laws pertaining to abandonment of items ina residence?

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What are personal property laws pertaining to abandonment of items ina residence?

A friend resided in my home for a couple of months with her daughter. She left for a 2 day trip and never returned. She took several items with her when she left one being a car she verbally agreed to pay $500 for. She was given a cell phone on my husband’s plan with a verbal agreement that she would pay 1/2 the bill every month. She is now 2 months behind. She left several items in my home. When she left to my knowledge she was to return in 2 days to go to work. Am I able to legally sell her items? Do I need to contact her about her items? She’s told me several times she was coming to get her things.

Asked on July 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Every State in this country has different requirements that a landlord must follow when a tenant breaches his or her lease and abandons property in the former rental.

Generally, a letter to the tenant deeming the lease ended should be sent by the landlord to any other known address of the former tenant with the request that items left behind be picked up in a certain period of time. If not picked up, the items (if debris or not worth much can either be discarded into the dumpster or donated to charity) will be tossed, donated or sold at a sale to pay any unpaid rent.

Most States have statutes regarding an estimated value of property left behind as a whole for donation or throwing away. If the amount estimated exceeds the amount for disposal by the landlord, notice of an auction of the belongings typically needs to be given before the sale happens. Post sale items left over can be disposed of by the landlord he or she deems appropriate.

 


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