Evicted Tenants' belongings

4 Replies

Hello All!

I need some guidance please. We have a tenant in a home in Northridge, CA that we bought from him, then in turn leased to him so that he could stay and try and get back on his feet financially.

He has not paid rent in almost 9 months, and after much heartfelt discussion we opted to evict him. He agreed to go quietly and like a gentleman (his words), and true to them he did leave over the weekend. However, he left TONS of stuff. Furniture, clothing and a lot of personal effects.

He claims that he has 30 days to get everything out and that we are obligated to store it for him. He also wants us to leave a key with the neighbor so that he can continue to move without us needing to make arrangements to meet him there to let him in/out.

I don't want to throw his stuff away, and certainly don't want to make it difficult for him to access it, but am very uncomfortable with his proposed arrangement. I read the government issued California Tenant guide and it does state that we can't discard his belongings, but goes on to say that the tenant only has 17 days to remove items and that we can charge for storage... or we can remove the items, store them remotely and charge him.

Can anyone clarify this for me? I TRULY appreciate your guidance and consideration! We want to 'do the right thing' but need to be protected against furthur loss.


I'm not sure this is the place to get answers. I'd probably contact an attorney to protect yourself on this one. I do know that you need to be very careful when dealing with evictions, so I'd ask for professional advice. Good luck.

OK, I'm going to go a little bit "off topic" and take you to task a little bit. Please keep in mind I'm not saying these things to criticize you (although it will sound like that) but in hopes that OTHERS CAN LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES YOU MADE HERE (and trust me I made them all before too)

so that he could stay and try and get back on his feet financially.

You knew he was in bad shape financially, but you rented to him anyway. I have rented and sold to people knowing that their finances were dodgy. But, I always got security deposits higher than normal, rents higher than normal and most important KEPT THEM ON A SHORT LEASH..

Which leads to your next boo-boo:

He has not paid rent in almost 9 months

How did it ever get to be 9 months. I owned rental property in Calfornia for 23 years, it doesn't take that long to run someone. When they get 5 days late you send them a "3 day notice to cure" (I think it's still 3 days in California) and when they haven't cured in 3 days you go to the attorney.

he did leave over the weekend

I hope all this is documented WITH HIS SIGNATURE. Otherwise he can come back in two weeks, claim he was "on vacation", move back in and if you've changed the locks or taken other actions, he could bring suit for "constructive eviction".

certainly don't want to make it difficult for him to access it

Why the heck not. This isn't a friend, buddy, pal or even a close acquaintance, this is a DEADBEAT, who owes you probably somewhere north of $15,000. Let me repeat that $15,000. That's about 40% of the average income in the US! In other words a LOT OF MONEY.

You do THE ABSOLUTE minimum that is required by law. The first time I was faced with this my ATTORNEY advised me to either hire a professional removal firm, or get some boxes, some laborers A CAMCORDER and get to work. I went to the part of town where day laborers congregate and got 2 of them and their pick-up truck. We had to pack everything, since in Texas anything a tenant owns they can claim as being exempt from attachment, dumped all in boxes, took it to a "U Store It" place, paid the first two months rent in CASH, IN THE TENANT'S NAME, and mailed him a certified letter with instructions on where his stuff was.

OK, you've made some mistakes that we all make. Again, I'm not ranting on you, just hoping one other person that reads this might remember part of it and do something a bit different.

Keep posting, we want to hear how it comes out. And if you ask I'll tell you my way of seducing (scaring) deadbeats into paying me.

all cash

Thanks Guys for your replies!

We DID decide to consult with a lawyer, as during this process the tenant sent us a partial payment (not even near what he owes which IS close to $15K). We are afraid to deposit it as he has made statements to the neighbors that lead us to believe he might try and sue us on the basis that we convinced him to sell his home to us under duress.

All Cash – I’m not too sensitive to take constructive criticism. In fact, I APPRECIATE IT. I should clarify that when I say “we” in my posts, I mean my Boss and I. I just hired on as his ‘right hand’ in December, but intend to make R.E. investing my career. I have already learned so much, and situations like this are the best teachers! You’re right; this guy should have been out the first time he couldn’t come up with the rent. And after all he’s put everyone through, I’m certain my Boss will handle the next DEADBEAT differently. And yes – I’d love to learn your methods of seduction. DO TELL!

Well, at least we did follow through with the eviction; the tenant left with a Sheriff’s escort, and we took pictures and a full inventory. We did not agree to give him a key (his stuff is in the garage), and since the lockout he hasn’t even called. The clock is ticking – only a few more days. I’ll keep you posted.

Again, thank you so much for your input. I appreciate being able to pose questions when the answers may be obvious to everyone but me! That’s why you’re the Big Dogs and I’m just a PUP!

Keep lining those pockets! I’m done pulling lint out of mine!

I manage a property in Los Angeles. Would love to know the follow up on this...

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