Managing tenant possessions after they’re evicted or move out is one of the challenges self-managing landlords face.
Improper handling of tenant possessions can lead to legal trouble. If a tenant leaves behind personal property, the landlord must follow the process outlined in the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act before disposing of the tenant’s belongings. Failure can be very costly.
If the tenant delivers the keys, the landlord may immediately dispose of any personal property left behind. In case of abandonment, the landlord should take an inventory of property left behind. All perishable items, biohazards or health and safety risks should be disposed of immediately. Animals left behind must be properly cared for.
Landlords are required to post an abandonment notice on the home and inform the tenant of the property left behind and the location where it is stored. The landlord must hold the property for a minimum number of days to allow the tenant an opportunity to enter and remove personal effects such as medicine and clothes.
Five days after posting the notice, the landlord can retake the home and re-rent it if there is no personal property remaining in the unit. The landlord can charge the tenant for moving and storing items and caring for any animal.
After retaking the property, the landlord is required to store the tenant’s possessions onsite or offsite. If the tenant does not recover the property, the landlord can donate or sell it. All proceeds from the sale must be applied to outstanding rent or costs for the tenant.
The landlord can discard or destroy the tenant’s property if there’s reasonable belief the value of the property is so low that the cost of storing, moving and selling it would not be recovered from the sale. For one year after the sale, landlords should keep good records of outstanding and unpaid rent and the sale of the tenant’s personal property.
Property managers are professionals at dealing with tenants’ abandoned property and helping landlords stay out of legal trouble. If you need help handling abandoned property and re-renting your space, please contact us at Crest Premier Property Management Team.
The November edition of InMaricopa Magazine is in Maricopa mailboxes and available online.
Read More: Keep it professional – InMaricopa