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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 11654
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Can we sell the property the tenant left behind?

Customer Question

Can we sell the property the tenant left behind?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hi again.

I responded to this in the other thread. Bear with me a moment. I'll copy/paste here.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hi again.

If the tenant abandoned the property left behind, then you may indeed sell it. But I would not assume that the property was abandoned. Most people think that time determines whether property is abandoned. That is not the case. The intent to relinquish rights to the property determines whether property is abandoned. For example, if you leave something at my house for 5 years, and I know that you want that item back one day, then you didn't abandon it. On the other hand, you could leave something at my house for just one day, and if you stated that you don't want it anymore, then you abandoned it. So time is not the issue, it's your intent which is the issue.

Accordingly, I would attempt to establish the tenant's intent to abandon by sending him letters indicating that he must retrieve his property by August 1, 2016 (just an example). I'd send out a letter today, next week, and the week after. If the tenant did not retrieve his items, then I'd likely feel comfortable that they were abandoned. I'd then do what I want with those items, including throwing them away or selling them. If the tenant were to come back in the future and demand those items, I'd who him copies of the letters and tell him that he abandoned the items. I think he'd lose a lawsuit given those facts.

I hope that helps. Please let me know if you need further clarification, and please remember to provide positive feedback. Thank you.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue. If not, then please remember to provide a positive rating via the stars (and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so I greatly appreciate it). Thank you!

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