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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55470
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I let a lady and her kids move in with me in febuary for $100

Customer Question

i let a lady and her kids move in with me in febuary for $100 a week. she only paid me 4 times and stayed here three months. when i told her she had to leave she said she was moving to mobile and that she was coming back on june 30th to get her things i said that was fine. then i found out she never left so iasked her to come get her things. she said her car wasnt running i said okay just let me know when its fixed so you can come get your things. so then i saw her in her car twice and told her i was tired of the lies and for her to get her things. she then blocked me on facebook so that i could no longer contact her. i posted on facebook that if anyone knew how to get in touch with her to please tell her to contact me about getting her things. she then texted me and we got into it and now she is trying to bring cops in my home and talking about suing me when i told her that i have no problem sitting her things outside for her to come get but that she will not enter my home. she basically told me that she can do whatever she wants and that i can't sit her things outside because she could sue me for it. i told her that it was mine because it was abandoned and that i would sit everything outside except the washer and dryer. i told her i was keeping it for her payment of back rent. what can i do at this point?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you!
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 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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