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Legalease
Legalease, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 16289
Experience:  15 yrs residential & commercial leasing experience.
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Tenant left belongings in furnished room owing rent and has

Customer Question

Tenant left belongings in furnished room owing rent and has been gone now over one year; he has not returned to obtain his possessions nor pay any rent, what can Landlord do?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Legalease replied 9 months ago.

Hello there --

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I take it that Landlord does not have any address for the tenant except the address at the property tenant had been renting from landlord. As a landlord, you have no obligation to store the tenant's belongings and certainly for not this length of time after the tenant left without a forwarding address! You were obligated to retain the belongings for thirty days after he left and to send a written notice to the last known address telling the tenant how much money is still owed to the landlord and informing the tenant that if he does not return to pick up his belongings within thirty days that the landlord will dispose of the property as the landlord sees fit to do so (and if any property is sold, landlord will retain the funds owed to landlord and forward anything that is remaining to the tenant at the last known address unless the tenant contacts landlord with a new address to send notices to and from).

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At this point, you should simply sell what you can and dispose of whatever else is left that is not useable or useful to you and simply send a letter to the last known address (even if it is your address) and state in the letter that you consider the tenancy to have been abandoned more than a year ago and you are disposing of his personal items in the manner in which you see fit. If money is owed to you also request that the money be paid immediately (if you cannot locate this former tenant then you will most likely not get a response BUT he may have actually left a forwarding address with the post office at some point and if he DID do that, you would really not know it unless you sent mail to him at your address and it was never returned to you unopened).

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MARY

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