landlord has to "store" tenants belongings after eviction?

20 Replies

Well first time I ever had to evict someone and the courts sent me a paper and also the sheriff who did the eviction and said I MUST store the tenants belongings/personal property for 10 days. If they do not notify me I can get rid of them BUT if they notify me within 10 days I MUST give them 30 more days to get there belongs.

Anyone else have to deal with this? 

I thinks its ridiculous since I have a judgement against them for $2200 and now I have to work with them and their belongs.

Laws vary by state. In Florida we can put it curb side immediately. Some states are probably worse than PA as far as "protecting" the tenant. It's pretty bad when they beat you out of money and then the courts inflict more pain and aggravation.

It sucks but it's part of the joy of being a landlord.

They get to screw you again ( make sure to take lots of pictures of their junk I bring someone with me so they can't claim later they had gold bars or what ever BS)

I had spoke with a Buffalo city court judge once about this and he had said they require storage for "a reasonable amount of time".  Asked him to define that and his reply was "depends on the judge you go before".  Doesnt surprise me in bleeding heart tenant safe haven NY.  

Another thing he said that made great sense though was to take pictures of EVERYTHING before you move it, just where it sits in each room, if not you know the tenant will be claiming things missing or broken that werent even there. 

Does it say where/how you have to store them?

I'd be tempted to just toss it all, after taking pics of it.  What are the odds of them suing you over stuff they abandoned? 

I've never heard of anyone being sued by a tenant who abandoned their stuff after getting evicted.  I suppose it happens, but odds are they won't.  

Varies by state, so do your HW. 

In CA, you have to hold the tenants items for 15 calendar days after they have been evicted. 

Who knows if you'll be sued. 

Good luck! 

So jealous!  Vermont is 60 days! And thats after the 4-6 month eviction process. In Vermont there is little to no way to actually collect a judgment.  

Here you have to store the belongings after they have been at the curb for more than 24 hours .  It always amazed me how the stuff disappeared by the next morning . And the tenants said they didnt come for it . 

Schedule your eviction the day before trash day , put it at the curb , when the trash men come , smile , grease his palm and watch the stuff magically vanish . 

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

Here you have to store the belongings after they have been at the curb for more than 24 hours .  It always amazed me how the stuff disappeared by the next morning . And the tenants said they didnt come for it . 

Schedule your eviction the day before trash day , put it at the curb , when the trash men come , smile , grease his palm and watch the stuff magically vanish . 

 LOL, or just put an ad on Craiglist's free section.  Blink and it's gone.

I put some of the tenants stuff in the patio and told her she can retrieve it from there.  The rest of the stuff I trashed right away and it felt great after all the misery she put me through. It looked like she left in a hurry, trying to avoid the Sheriff coming to evict her.  I never heard from her again.  

I have not had to evict anybody in years. But in keeping up with legislative changes in PA, the court order for the eviction can contain specific language to serve as the initial 10 day notice; Act 129 and Act 167 address this:

http://www.barley.com/?t=40&an=30563&format=xml&p=...

http://dornish.net/pennsylvania-finally-passes-act...

http://www.stradley.com/insights/publications/2014...

http://www.sterlingeducation.com/the-sterling-blog...

http://www.paa-east.com/uploads/3/1/1/4/31149221/s...

I've performed a handful of evictions in 30+ years in real estate. Does not make me any kind of expert however, I'd rather not have to evict someone, if avoidable. 

Terminating a lease or rental contract is one thing. Getting a former paying tenant, holdover tenant from a seller, semi-quasi-related baby daddy's family of a decedent or other interloper and their stuff out...legally...is quite another.

I've been sued when I should not have and not been sued when my people cut corners. 

Karma or charisma, liked or not, IMHO it's not worth the risk to ignore the laws in your community. 

In one case, I was a nice guy and allowed the tenants to leave their heavy possessions in the garage (post eviction), without the ability to enter the residence, and arrange to schedule to pick up later. This of course was done out of of kindness for flakes that filed four BK's on me to stall. It also prevented me from my renovating and selling the house which was held hostage to tenants' crap. 

Sure enough, when tenants showed up to pick up their crap, their friends brought tire irons.  Had to call San Bern County Sheriff SWAT. 

So, my policy is to do a quick written inventory of their stuff, video/pix, subcontract relocation of items over the dollar value threshold and trash the rest. They can pay the sub for storage fees; I stay out of it. 

I suggest following the letter of the law and create a written policy, procedure and checklist for dealing with eviction timelines and tenants possessions consistent with local judges' interpretation of the law. 

People who wait until getting evicted before moving have a victim mentality. Don't validate their belief system by being baited by flakes.

I suggest a tenants belongings burning party. We landlords have a big once a month burn pile and then we stand around the blaze and point fingers at each. Saying he did it, no he did it. Oops I actually typed what came to mind....I'm gonna burn in hell anyway!!!

Originally posted by @Joseph Theriault :

I suggest a tenants belongings burning party. We landlords have a big once a month burn pile and then we stand around the blaze and point fingers at each. Saying he did it, no he did it. Oops I actually typed what came to mind....I'm gonna burn in hell anyway!!!

 Love it.  I asked my wife if we should store the stuff.  Without hesitation she said "Trash it".  I did with glee.  

No offense folks, but Rick is the only one with some common sense here. I live in a very VERY tenant friendly state, and my county judge hates landlords and often ignores the law when ruling, if I were to burn my tenants crap or put it out on the curb and blatantly ignore the law I don't even want to think about the ramifications! Its not worth the risk to me, tenants that require eviction often have Legal Aid on speed dial.

I just had to do the same thing a few months ago. After cleaning the whole house up and gathering all their stuff I had to have it sit in the living room until the 30 days went by.  It sucked because I couldn't get the carpets cleaned and and start showing the house. I guess I could of stored it somewhere else but it didn't seem to make sense to have to move it twice, and of course they never came and got it.

It was a joke people!!! If you haven't thought then your nicer than me. I know the law very well here in NH. 7 days to store there stuff. Be a pro follow the rules and in your budget know you run into these problems.

Perhaps what some have missed is that storing personal property of former tenants does not require tying up the living unit by storing "on-premises". 

If I can show a judge my attempt to act in good faith by ascertaining and documenting the property which has monetary value or a reasonable person would believe sentimental value to the former occupant, and keep good records despite delegating the transfers and storage to my contractor, I've taken reasonable steps to be a good steward of their stuff. 

Getting a unit rent-ready is one thing;  however, there's no reason to punish others who need a rental now with avoidable delays just because the last tenant had to be evicted. And it's lost revenue. 

Originally posted by @Jon Davis :

I just had to do the same thing a few months ago. After cleaning the whole house up and gathering all their stuff I had to have it sit in the living room until the 30 days went by.  It sucked because I couldn't get the carpets cleaned and and start showing the house. I guess I could of stored it somewhere else but it didn't seem to make sense to have to move it twice, and of course they never came and got it.

 Why didn't you stick it in a garage or storage locker?

Don't be tempted to break the law. It could turn a bad situation into a nightmare for you. You absolutely need to know landlord-tenant law in your jurisdiction. Ours is quite clear in stating under which circumstances we need to store, where and for how long. Tenants must pay the cost of the moving and storage to get their stuff back.

We have done three evictions in 20 years.
Once the tenant had most of his stuff out and needed one more day to pick up the rest, we let him do that under supervision, and what he didn't take we were able to put on the curb. 
Once we had to store for 45 days and the tenant did pay for the moving and storage fees on the last possible day to get her stuff back.
Once we had to store for 30 days and actually stored for 60 days (long story-see my post about that one), the tenant never came up with the money to get her stuff back, didn't have the means (labor/transport) to deal with it either, so when her time was up we sold some of it in consignment shops, gave some of it to a charity thrift store, kept a few useful items for ourselves, and took the left overs to the dump.

I forgot how much I hate being a landlord.  Thank you for the reminder.

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