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urgent question about previous tenant leaving washer / dryer & then wanting it back

8 posts by 7 users

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John Turk

Tampa, Florida

Aug 03 '11, 05:35 PM


i had a previous tenant move out & she left behind the washer & dryer & also some construction materials. it has only been 4 days. what is the legal protocol on how to handle this situation?

the old tenant said shes coming by this saturday to get everything. what is the legal protocol that i as the landlord am supposed to follow? keep in mind im trying to avoid a situation where she is inconveniencing the new tenant by storing her stuff in the house & then coming by to pick it up.



Kyle Meyers

Residential Landlord from Indianapolis, Indiana

Aug 03 '11, 06:52 PM
1 vote


Check the laws about abandoned property. If you thought she had left it behind for good there is probably a process you would need to follow to remove the property. It is likely you can charge her rent on the property for the additional 4 days. Check your local laws to know for sure.



Jon Holdman Moderator

SFR Investor from Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Aug 03 '11, 07:52 PM
4 votes


Unfortunately, what you should do is what you should have done. You should have been there when she left and told her to get everything she wanted out. I change locks the minute I take possession. The old tenant never gets back in unless I'm there.

Kyle's advice to find out your local laws is good. Time for a quick chat with your lawyer.

Given you're now in this situation, I would call her and tell her you will provide one time at your convenience when she can come and take everything she's left behind. I would make that time ASAP. certainly no later than this weekend. I would also tell her you will remove the abandoned property at that time if she does not show up and remove it. And you will deduct the disposal costs from her deposit.



Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC


George P.

Real Estate Investor from ..., Michigan

Aug 03 '11, 07:55 PM


4 days and you already got a new tenant? kinda hard to believe. you are not trying to keep her stuff, are you?



Jon Holdman Moderator

SFR Investor from Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Aug 03 '11, 08:18 PM
3 votes


Why's that hard to believe? I've had one tenant move out on the 31st, cleaners there on the morning of the 1st and a new tenant in that night. I've also had tenants who were still there on the evening of the first and left behind enough mess that I couldn't even show the property for two weeks after that. The last day is the last day. I'm not running a storage facility.



Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC


George P.

Real Estate Investor from Baltimore, Maryland

Aug 04 '11, 06:19 AM


First and foremost, what does your lease say about tenant's belonging's after the move-out? This is THE document you need to consult with when having a question about tenant (provided your lease is compliant with the state and federal law).
if your lease say the tenant foregoes the stuff they leave behind, you are legally inheriting the washer and dryer. If your lease says nothing about it, first thing you need to do is get a better lease agreement.

PS Why two topics with the same question???



Jeff B.

Real Estate Investor from Lake Worth, Florida

Aug 04 '11, 08:33 AM


I know the laws vary state to state, sometimes it's 10, 15, 30 days
that you must send the registered mail notice of abandoned property and some require you to store the stuff for up to 30 days. You are allowed to charge a fee which varies from state to state also.

If you are moving it make sure to take pictures of it prior to removal so they don't try to say you damaged the property when you moved it.


Edited Aug 4 2011, 08:41 by Jeff B.


Pat Bahn

Real Estate Investor from

Aug 04 '11, 09:08 AM


I am with jon.

Tell the tenant, they have one shot to get that stuff.

It's just less Trouble that way and does it cost you much?

Tie it to a trip to fixup the punch list and it's less inconvenient.



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