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You have a couple of issues here: i) has she legally left; and ii) if so, what to do with her property.
The first issue is the more precarious because she's obviously going to claim she never actually vacated the premises for good. And, that is evidenced by the fact she left her things. To be perfectly safe to avoid a claim of an illegal eviction, since she defaulted in her to pay you, would want to give her a 10-Day Notice to Quit under Alabama law...meaning she must vacate the premises within that period or face formal eviction. Then, if she did not come get her possessions
, you would file a petition for an eviction order. Once that is granted...you can have the sheriff evict. To be totally safe, you would not want to move her stuff out, change the locks, or take any other means of "self-help" eviction prior to obtaining the eviction order.
With regard to the second issue, the Alabama law is clear once it's established she's gone...either because she has clearly abandoned or because you have obtained an eviction order. Pursuant to ALA CODE § 35-9A-423(d): "If a tenant leaves property in the unit more than 14 days after termination pursuant to this chapter, the landlord has no duty to store or protect the tenant's property in the unit and may dispose of it without obligation."
This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you could just throw everything out immediately with no risk, but I can only provide you information based
on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!
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