enant’s Abandoned Property, A messy desk, teddy bear sitting in the chair, a glass of milk in the table In recent months, a client of New Bridge Management informed us that he wanted to list his house for sale. We notified the tenant that the property was going to be listed on the market. When proper notice of sale is given to resident, the 24-hour notice of entry need not be in writing. A verbal notice then becomes sufficient. For sake of brevity, I will fast forward past the tenant not cooperating, stopped payment of rent and was then evicted for non-payment. Evictions can be emotionally charged. On this particular day, thankfully the tenant had already vacated the premises but had left some personal belongings behind. Sometimes, tenants leave before the lockout and vacate the property. Other times they are still in possession when the sheriff shows up. When a tenant is forcefully evicted, their personal items are left behind.

On lockout day, the owner was eager to gain access to the rental property. The owner wanted to inspect the property to ensure it was ready for showings. When he saw the tenant’s personal items, he wanted to immediately hire a crew to dispose of all the items left behind. This is when we, the Modesto property management company, had to inform the owner that he couldn’t do that. When tenants are evicted and their personal belongings remain in the property, the landlord must hold on to the items for 15 days giving tenants the opportunity to claim their belonging. But if the tenants vacate the premises and leave behind personal items, proper notice regarding the disposal of those items should be given. The landlord should make a good faith effort to give notice either by email, mail or in person as to what will be done with the personal property.

The notice should include a general description of the items and should be clear enough for the property owner to be able to identify the items. A place where the property may be claimed should also be included along with a statement that storage costs may be charged before the property is claimed. What will happen to the personal property if unclaimed should also be added.

If the personal property is believed to be worth more than $700, the notice should include that it can be sold. After the deduction of cost of sale and storage, the rest will go to the county and may be claimed. However, if the items are worth less than $700, the notice need only state that the items may be kept, sold or disposed without further warning if it is not claimed within 15 days from the delivery of the notice.

If you need help managing your real estate portfolio please give New Bridge Management a call. We provide exceptional property management in Modesto, Patterson, Turlock and the greater Stanislaus county areas.