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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33708
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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A section 8 tenant was supposed to move 4 months ago. he

Customer Question

a section 8 tenant was supposed to move 4 months ago. he signed with a new landlord and the housing authority has been paying that landlord and not me. I stopped down 4 days ago to see when he was leaving and he had moved out. the beds and most personal belongings are gone but everything else is still there. I found out that he had the utilities shutoff for the last 7 weeks he was there. I get a message that says his phone cant receive messages. What do I do with his stuff.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes and ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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I need to ask a few questions before I comment..

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Did you give the tenant a 5 day notice to pay or vacate as soon as they stopped paying the rent?

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Do you have anything in your lease regarding a tenant's abandoned property?

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Is the personal property valuable?

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Do you know how long the tenant has been gone?

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What city is this in?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He did receive a 5 day notice on the 28th of Dec. The furniture is not very valuable but usable.I feel that he left right after the notice so about two weeks. This is in Peoria
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Ok, IL doesn't' have any state specific laws about abandoned property and it is left to each individual city to set their own rules. For example, Chicago allows landlords to dispose of property after 21 days of the tenant being absent without notice.

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I don't see anything specific as an ordinance for Peoria so the default common law would apply here. You have two options...one a little risky and one much safer.

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The somewhat risky one under this type of scenario is where you would post a written notice on the property stating that you believe it has been abandoned and that you will then dispose of any property remaining within XX days (10 is reasonable). Mail it to the tenant at that address both first class mail as well as certified mail for proof in case they have a forwarding address. Then if they don't return to claim the property within XX days, you can pretty safely abandon it.

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Or the other safer option would be to go ahead and file the eviction action in court, get a judgment and a writ, and then have the sheriff put you back in legal possession of the property so you can dispose of anything left there under the writ.

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thanks

Barrister

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