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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Are landlords liable (responsible ) for goods leftover by tenants

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Are landlords liable (responsible ) for goods leftover by tenants beyond 30 days in new York city.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

There's not a "set" time period either in NYC or NY state. Rather, it depends primarily on the intent of the tenant to abandon the property or not. Basically this falls under common law, rather than statutory law, where courts will determine whether or not the situation showed that there was an intent (more likely than not) that the property be abandoned.

ScottyMacEsq :

If not, the property would remain in the ownership of the tenant.

ScottyMacEsq :

Without a specific lease provision, reasonable notice to the tenant should be provided prior to any disposition of the property. It is advisable that the landlord give at least 30 days’ written notice to the tenant of the tenant’s right to claim and remove any personal property in the landlord’s possession or the property will be deemed abandoned. If the tenant fails to remove the property within the specified time period, the landlord may consider the property abandoned and discard same; however, it is highly recommended that the landlord dispose of the property by means of a private sale by published notice, especially where the property has substantial value. In such case, a final written notice to the tenant should be provided, indicating the date and time when the property will be offered for sale. The landlord should then publish a legal notice of the sale of abandoned tenant property, identifying the property to be sold, the place and time of sale, and terms of sale. Once the sale is conducted, proceeds from the sale may be applied against any judgment the landlord may have previously obtained against the tenant. Additionally, costs of the sale may be deducted from sale proceeds, with the balance, if any, to be paid to the tenant.

ScottyMacEsq :

An alternative to the landlord’s storage of unclaimed tenant belongings is the rental of a commercial self-storage unit for a fixed term which should be, at a minimum, 30 days, with notice to the tenant that the property may be claimed at the facility. Should the tenant fail to claim the property, the storage facility has the right to assert a storage lien pursuant to Lien Law Section 182, and to dispose of the property in accordance with that statute.

ScottyMacEsq :

The notice gives the tenant actual notice that the property will be disposed, and assuming that the tenant received that notice (a certified letter would be a good idea to send) you could say that inaction is a manifestation of intent on the tenant's part that the property was abandoned.

ScottyMacEsq :

Until that notice or storage with notice of sale / sale occurs, it's possible that the court could still find that you're an involuntary gratuitous bailee (legal speak for someone who has possession of someone elses property, without your consent, but you still have a slight duty to not damage or dispose of it).

ScottyMacEsq :

So ultimately it depends on whether or not there has been a manifestation of intent (even by non-action) by the tenant to abandon this property. But it should be fairly clear (that it's more likely than not from an objective viewer that the tenant abandoned that property).

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

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ScottyMacEsq :

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response.

Customer: I gave written 30 day notice. Sent certified return /receipt ,all letters to known addresses came back unclaimed at the post office. So then I sent the letter via process server and I have affidavit it was received. So the next day I began putting belongings in storage. Can I continue putting items in storage even though tenants did order to show cause 35 days post eviction.i was not served with court papers yet. I think they tried to serve my previous lawyer. But I think they are not representing me any longer because my case was closed at eviction . What do you think is my status regarding the eviction. Do I still have legal possession? Am I still the Bailee of their possessions and responsible for moving goods into storage
ScottyMacEsq :

What is the order to show cause relating to? That is, what are they asking the court to order?

Customer: I have not received any papers yet I just know they requested one. To probably stall for more time but I want to put stuff in storage so should time be a factor?
ScottyMacEsq :

No. You can absolutely put the stuff into storage, because that preserves the items so that they would not have any claim against you for destruction / etc... of that property.

ScottyMacEsq :

You could also charge them with the costs of the storage.

ScottyMacEsq :

The main consideration is that if it is truly abandoned, it might be difficult to get them to pay the storage costs (as there's no reason to, since they would not want to get their property back in that instance).

ScottyMacEsq :

But you can absolutely put their property into storage.

ScottyMacEsq :

You should document (pictures, etc...) everything that you do put into storage, so they can't say that you "stole" anything, etc... (which they would have the burden of proof on anyway).

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

.Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

ScottyMacEsq :

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response.

ScottyMacEsq :

I'm sorry, are you still there? It says that you're typing, but I have not heard from you in 25 minutes...

ScottyMacEsq :

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

Customer: Hi! I did take lots of pictures. However they were hoarders , over 100 large contractors were stored .they probably will claim something was stolen. Anything could have in one of those bags, should I be overly concerned. Have I done enough to protect my self. I waited 30 days before moving it to storage facility.
ScottyMacEsq :

I would not be overly concerned. They would have the burden of proof of establishing that you stole something, not the other way around. If they couldn't prove it, then they wouldn't be able to recove.r

ScottyMacEsq :

*recover

Customer: I am still here. See last question
ScottyMacEsq :

Did you see my response?

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
35 days post eviction can they try to reverse my legal possession and restore tenancy. Tenants may claim they were improperly served. So can this throw out the default judgment because they never appeared for any hearings during holdover proceedings
It's possible that if there is not legal service of process then that could be the basis to get it thrown out (and would require that you file again). It probably would not reinstate the tenancy if you terminated it for a valid reason, after giving notice to pay or quit, etc... But if their complaint is regarding the eviction process, that would not reinstate the tenancy, although it could vacate the default judgment and make you go through another hearing on the merits of the case.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Can they move back in? And bring their stuff back?
If you already have an order of eviction, they would first need to get that overturned, and even still be able to show good cause. But they can't do that with you having the default judgment (and you should get the key changed, if you have not yet, so that they can't do that without you knowing about it).

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