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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  9+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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A tenant notified the landlord she would be vacating her apartment

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A tenant notified the landlord she would be vacating her apartment on April 15th, 2013. She was informed that since she would still be in the apartment after the 1st of the month, all the rent would have to be paid, and she did pay it. On the 15th of the month, she moved, taking all her belongings, and relinquishing the keys to the superintendent, but telling the landlord that she made an extra set since she had paid for the full month's rent and wanted to return before the end of the month to pick up anything remaining. The superintendent went into the apartment to paint, found it vacant, except for cable boxes and wires, and threw them out. She now wants the landlord to pay $354 for the cable boxes, saying she had intended to return before the end of the month. Is the landlord responsible for the cable boxes? Full month's rent was required anyway and she relinquished the keys on the 15th. Thanks.
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good evening. I certainly understand the situation and concern. What did the tenant tell the superintendent when she gave him the keys? In addition, why did she leave the cable boxes yet take everything else with her?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She didn't tell the superintendent but she told the landlord that she had an extra set of keys made. She said she would come back for anything remaining. But the only things remaining were the cable boxes, which the superintendent unknowingly threw out.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She just gave the keys to the superintendent, and didn't tell him anything, but told the landlord she had an extra set of keys made and she would return before the end of the month to get her remaining things, but the only things left were the cable boxes. Not sure why she left them.

Thank you for the additional information. If the landlord was advised by the tenant that she was going to return and obtain any remaining items, paired with the fact that the rent was paid in full until the end of the month and she legally had access to it, then the landlord would likely be responsible for the actions of the superintendent. The landlord should have advised the superintendent to wait to enter the apartment, prior to making any repairs, painting or doing anything to get the property ready for the next tenant. Moreover, the super should have realized that cable boxes should not have been disposed of and they should have been turned over to the landlord, stored or even returned to the cable company and/or reported them for pick up. Had the tenant just vacated without notice, it could have be interpreted as she abandoned the property. However, in this case, the landlord was on notice and could be liable for the actions of the super by disposing of the boxes, when it was known the tenant was going to return to obtain them before the end of the month. The cable company has nothing to do with this, so they could go after the tenant for the cost but then she would have to settle with the landlord or sue him, under the basis that the super acts on behalf of the landlord and should have been placed on notice that she was going to return and should not have just disposed of the cable boxes, without notice. If the argument is made that he thought the property was abandoned, the landlord knew otherwise and should have told the super to leave anything remaining.

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