Location: New Orleans, La... I have tenants that have not paid rent for two months. They decided not to continue their lease and that they have vacated the property. I emailed her for the keys to the property. I did not receive an email back so I went to check on the property and also change the locks. I found items that belongs to the tenants. I have not touch anything yet. I finally get an email from the tenants asking to retrieve items because I have change out the locks. Can I get some guide on how to approach this matter appropriately?
You'll need to see the LA state property code. In Texas, there is a difference of what you can do when the tenants leave vs abandon the property.
You'll need to check your local laws but I would have treated this as an Abandoned property, I can't take physical possession of the property until the tenant gives me keys or I go through the abandonment process. At this point I would continue to treat it as abandoned, schedule an appointment with the tenant to remove their property and get the keys from them. Then you are rid of them but I'd still go after a judgment for the
Thank you very much for the replies.
Honestly, I would agree to meet with them so they can clear out whatever they left behind and get them to sign a document saying anything that is left at the end of the trip, is abandoned and can be disposed of. Be at the home with them and do not let them in the house on their own.
You will never see the money you are owed for rent. I'm guessing you have the security deposit and can keep that to cover rent, damages and clean up.
I try to get a written acknowledgment that they are officially vacated. That can be an email, text, or whatever. If they refuse to give it, you can follow the abandonment law of your state.
I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that what they left behind was junk furniture and trash. There's probably nothing of value they would come back for and you will probably be fine throwing it out.
My process: take pictures to document the condition of the rental and what was left behind. Remove all the abandoned property and dispose of it (trash, landfill, or donation center). Clean and market the property. Once a new tenant takes over, calculate the final charges for the tenant that abandoned the place, including: unpaid rent and utilities, cleaning and maintenance, removal of abanonded property, mandatory lock change, etc.