Moving Out

5 Replies

If a tenant doesn't leave on there move out date, can a landlord legally put there remaining things out?

Chances are you would have to start the eviction process.

When you say "Remaining" things, it sounds like they're in the process of moving out - is that correct?

Check laws in your locality, but most localities differentiate between whether the tenant is still living there, which in most areas requires an eviction, and whether the tenant has moved out, but left stuff. In my area, that's considered abandoned property and there's yet another long, complicated list of what we're allowed to do or not do with it, but it's  less onerous than evicting someone who's still living in the house.


The landlord cannot forcibly remove the tenant's belongings from the property.  The landlord has to file for a legal eviction, which can take 7 days to several months depending on your state laws.  Filing for eviction in my city costs a little more than $100, though to actually see it through to the final eviction would increase the cost to approximately $200.  Here, from filing to final eviction can take as little as two-to-three weeks.  Again, that's in my area.  I don't know what the costs and timeline are in Philly.

But in no jurisdiction in the USA, that I know of, can a landlord put tenants' belongings outside without going through the eviction process first.

What the problem with your tenant?

EDIT: Just read/noticed the mention of "remaining things."  If the tenant has moved out but has stuff remaining in the unit, that could be a dicey situation.  The most you might ever want to do is remove the items and store them somewhere for a while in case the tenant returns for them.  Even that is not what I'd recommend.  I might do it, but I wouldn't suggest anyone else do the same.  If you can't get in contact with the tenant, it's probably worth your while to ask a lawyer in your area what they suggest you do next.

Good luck.

Given the statement remaining things did they surrender the keys?  If they did surrender keys I would set it aside according to abandoned property and notify them that unless they contact you within a certain time period the items will be discarded.  Unless they are clearly living in the property this is a reasonable action. If someone did not clearly surrender the keys and is still living in the property you need to do an eviction.  

There are a lot of responses for various legalities from people from other states. It depends on your laws where the property is. In some states, you can put it out on the curb. In others, you could be stuck storing it for years.  Laws in other states are most likely not identical to yours so take the advice with a grain of salt. 

If you really want to know what you need to do, either ask a lawyer in your area or get advice from someone you trust to know the laws of YOUR area.  Otherwise, listening to advice of people in other states are likely to just add to your confusion.

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