Tenant Abandonment Guide for Landlords

August 13, 2021

Welcome to our informative video on tenant abandonment – a critical topic that every landlord should be well-versed in. In this presentation, we’ll explore three key aspects:

What is Tenant Abandonment? We kick things off by defining tenant abandonment. Discover what it means when a renter vacates a property without notice before the lease expiration, often leaving belongings behind and ceasing rent payments.

How to Determine if a Property is Abandoned: Uncover the methods to assess whether a property has indeed been abandoned. We provide a checklist, including calling the tenant’s emergency contact, verifying rent payments, checking utility usage, and gathering insights from neighbors or fellow tenants.

Steps to Take if the Rental Property is Abandoned: Once you’ve confirmed abandonment, it’s crucial to know the appropriate steps to follow. We guide you through the process, highlighting the importance of understanding local and state abandonment laws, taking inventory of the tenant’s property, proper storage, and sending a notification to the tenant’s last known address regarding the timeline to reclaim their belongings.

FAQs: We address common questions regarding property takeover timelines and what to do with leftover tenant belongings once the deadline has passed.

Haven’t seen your tenant in a while? Watch to learn what tenant abandonment is, how to determine if a property is truly abandoned, and steps you can take after you have determined the property is abandoned. Read the full guide on Tenant Abandonment.

Video Transcript

We will cover 3 main points:

  • What is tenant abandonment?
  • How to determine if a property is abandoned.
  • Steps to take after you have determined the property is abandoned.

What is Tenant Abandonment?

Tenant abandonment is when a renter has left without notice before the lease has ended. Often, this means they have left some of their belongings behind and are not paying rent.

How to Determine if a Property is Abandoned

  • Call the tenant’s emergency contact.
  • Are they still paying rent? If so, the unit may not be abandoned.
  • Check to see if the utilities are still on.
  • Talk to other tenants or neighbors to see if anyone has been in touch with the tenant.

Steps to Take if the Rental Property is Abandoned

  • Check your local and state laws regarding abandonment.
  • Take inventory and itemize the tenant’s property.
  • Store the tenant’s property.
  • Send a letter to the tenant’s last known address informing them how long they have to claim their property.

FAQ: How long before you can take over a property?

You’ll need to check your local and state laws. Some may require you to store their property for at least 30 days, but you could find a new tenant sooner than that.

FAQ: What should you do with the tenant’s property once the deadline to claim it has passed?

Depending on the state, typically you can sell, donate, or throw away leftover belongings.

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