When a tenant leaves a property, it is common for them to leave behind some things that landlords have to dispose of. Cleaning up after them, fixing damage they have caused, and handling personal property are common. However, what is the law pertaining personal property? How quickly can you dispose of the property? 

Is the Property Abandoned?

The property needs to be walked through to make sure it is actually abandoned. Normally a tenant that is abandoning the property will stop paying rent, or they have told you they want to move in the past. If someone seems that they have been trying to end their lease, and they are suddenly gone, it could mean it is abandoned. 

Notification to Tenants

Landlords need to provide notification to tenant. If you can tell the property is abandoned, you will need to send the letter to their last known address. Some of the things you need to have on the notice include:

  • Landlord name and address
  • Location where all the property is being stored 
  • Statement related to when the property will be disposed if it is not claimed
  • Statement of how much the former tenant must pay in storage costs to claim their property

Property that is valued less than $250 needs a seven day waiting period after the letter has been sent. Property valued over $250 will need to be held for at least 45 days prior to disposing of it. 

Do the Items Have Value?

Certain things people leave behind are simply garbage, but what about other things that do have a perceived level of value? Getting rid of belongings is one of the concerns landlords often face. Washington does have laws discussing when landlords need to store the items and give notice or if they can toss the items. 

Disposing of Tenant Property

When the time period passes and the former tenant has not claimed the property, landlords can sell or dispose of the property. Some landlords sell the property and use the money from the sale of the items to pay for the costs of needing to store the items. However, if there is money left over from paying for repairs and all the costs, that money needs to be held for at least a year before it can be claimed. 
Keyrenter Property Management McAllen specializes in handling tenant concerns like evictions and disposing of tenant property. Contacting legal experts is recommended for property managers who are new to understanding tenant law and other property legalities.