715.109 Sale or disposition of abandoned property.—
(1) If the personal property described in the notice is not released pursuant to s. 715.108, it shall be sold at public sale by competitive bidding. However, if the landlord reasonably believes that the total resale value of the property not released is less than $500, she or he may retain such property for her or his own use or dispose of it in any manner she or he chooses. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the landlord or tenant from bidding on the property at the public sale. The successful bidder’s title is subject to ownership rights, liens, and security interests which have priority by law.
(2) Notice of the time and place of the public sale shall be given by an advertisement of the sale published once a week for 2 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation where the sale is to be held. The sale must be held at the nearest suitable place to that where the personal property is held or stored. The advertisement must include a description of the goods, the name of the former tenant, and the time and place of the sale. The sale must take place at least 10 days after the first publication. If there is no newspaper of general circulation where the sale is to be held, the advertisement must be posted at least 10 days before the sale in not less than six conspicuous places in the neighborhood of the proposed sale. The last publication shall be at least 5 days before the sale is to be held. Notice of sale may be published before the last of the dates specified for taking possession of the property in any notice given pursuant to s. 715.104.
(3) The notice of the sale shall describe the property to be sold in a manner reasonably adequate to permit the owner of the property to identify it. The notice may describe all or a portion of the property, but the limitation of liability provided by s. 715.11 does not protect the landlord from any liability arising from the disposition of property not described in the notice, except that a trunk, valise, box, or other container which is locked, fastened, or tied in a manner which deters immediate access to its contents may be described as such without describing its contents.
(4) After deduction of the costs of storage, advertising, and sale, any balance of the proceeds of the sale which is not claimed by the former tenant or an owner other than such tenant shall be paid into the treasury of the county in which the sale took place not later than 30 days after the date of sale. The former tenant or other owner or other person having interest in the funds may claim the balance within 1 year from the date of payment to the county by making application to the county treasurer or other official designated by the county. If the county pays the balance or any part thereof to a claimant, neither the county nor any officer or employee thereof is liable to any other claimant as to the amount paid.
History.—s. 11, ch. 83-151; s. 845, ch. 97-102; s. 5, ch. 2001-179.