I'm sorry to hear this; that makes it very frustrating for the landlord. Here are the relevant statutes, with an explanation below:
IC 32-31-4-2 Liability; abandoned property; court order allowing removal by landlord Sec. 2. (a) A landlord has no liability for loss or damage to a tenant's personal property if the tenant's personal property has been abandoned by the tenant. (b) For purposes of this section, a tenant's personal property is considered abandoned if a reasonable person would conclude that the tenant has vacated the premises and has surrendered possession of the personal property. (c) An oral or a written rental agreement may not define abandonment differently than is provided in subsection (b). (d) If a landlord is awarded possession of a dwelling unit by a court under IC 32-30-2, the landlord may seek an order from the court allowing removal of a tenant's personal property. (e) If the tenant fails to remove the tenant's personal property before the date specified in the court's order issued under subsection (d), the landlord may remove the tenant's personal property in accordance with the order and deliver the personal property to a warehouseman under section 3 of this chapter or to a storage facility approved by the court. As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.115-2007, SEC.2. IC 32-31-4-3 Delivery towarehousemanor storage facility after notice to tenant; release of exempt property Sec. 3. (a) If a tenant has failed to remove the tenant's personal property under section 2 of this chapter, a landlord may deliver the personal property to a warehouseman or to a storage facility if notice of both of the following has been personally served on the tenant at the last known address of the tenant: (1) An order for removal of personal property issued under section 2 of this chapter. (2) The identity and location of the warehouseman or the storage facility. (b) At the demand of the owner of the exempt property, the warehouseman or storage facility shall release the exempt property to the owner without requiring payment from the owner at the time of delivery. (c) A waiver of the provisions of section 1 of this chapter or subsection (b) by contract or otherwise is void. As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.115-2007, SEC.3
Since the statute requires a reasonable person to determine the tenant abandoned the property, many landlords will err on the side of caution and send a certified letter to the tenant advising them that the property is being abandoned and will be discarded or stored by X date; again, more cautious landlords will store the property since case law does not address the issue which leaves it up to the individual judge to make a decision as to what was "reasonable". A paper trail does help to protect the landlord.
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