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Jorge Vazquez
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Tampa, FL
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Stuff behind after being evicted

Jorge Vazquez
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Tampa, FL
Posted Feb 22 2024, 18:06

I've been dealing with a situation in Florida where tenants leave their stuff behind after being evicted, and it got me thinking about how we, as landlords, handle this. The law here gives us some directions, like dumping the stuff at the property line right after eviction, sending out notices if it’s not an eviction case, and even selling off items if they're worth more than $500. But let's be real, it often doesn't go down by the book.

In my 20 years of experience, chasing after tenants who owe rent to pick up their old couch seems... well, not worth it. And honestly, I've never seen a tenant win a case over this; judges aren't usually on the side of tenants who haven't been playing by the rules.

So, how do you guys deal with left-behind belongings? Do you stick strictly to the law, or have you found some practical shortcuts that work? What's your experience been like?

Looking forward to hearing your stories!

  • Broker Florida (#SL3334101)

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Theresa Harris
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#2 General Landlording & Rental Properties Contributor
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Theresa Harris
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Replied Feb 22 2024, 18:15

Honestly, I put it out on the curb and put a free sign on it. If it is garbage, then I haul it to the dump.  Not worth my time to chase them down or store their junk and if they left it behind, they clearly don't care enough about it.

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Nathan Gesner
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
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Nathan Gesner
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
ModeratorReplied Feb 23 2024, 06:01
Quote from @Jorge Vazquez:

I've been dealing with a situation in Florida where tenants leave their stuff behind after being evicted, and it got me thinking about how we, as landlords, handle this. The law here gives us some directions, like dumping the stuff at the property line right after eviction, sending out notices if it’s not an eviction case, and even selling off items if they're worth more than $500. But let's be real, it often doesn't go down by the book.

In my 20 years of experience, chasing after tenants who owe rent to pick up their old couch seems... well, not worth it. And honestly, I've never seen a tenant win a case over this; judges aren't usually on the side of tenants who haven't been playing by the rules.

So, how do you guys deal with left-behind belongings? Do you stick strictly to the law, or have you found some practical shortcuts that work? What's your experience been like?

Looking forward to hearing your stories!


If the tenant was evicted, then the court authorized you to remove everything. Put it on the curb and notify the former tenant. If it's still there the next day, dispose of it by whatever means necessary.

Your state also has laws for property left behind by a tenant that moves out under ordinary circumstances. It would be wise to find those laws and study them.

  • Property Manager Wyoming (#12599)

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Account Closed
  • Property Manager
  • San Diego, CA
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Account Closed
  • Property Manager
  • San Diego, CA
Replied Feb 23 2024, 18:48

In California I'm required to store their stuff for a certain period of time. Stupid law.

I am allowed to throw out all trash immediately. The law does not define trash. So guess what? Everything looks like trash to me.