Do you have a rental property that appears to have now been left abandoned by the person who was renting it? Maybe their absence was a complete surprise or maybe they were being evicted but chose to leave long before the eviction date. Either way, what do you do about the vacant property in the meantime to protect your investment?
Normally you do not have to file eviction paperwork if it is clear the tenant abandoned the property. You can go about changing the locks in most cases. Laws regarding tenant property differ by state. In California, rental property owners must determine if the property is truly abandoned and then notify the owner of the belongings inside of the need to come reclaim their stuff. That notice must include a description of the abandoned stuff, a location to pick it up, a window of time to be able to pick it up, and if you are charging storage costs, you must include that on the notice. You also must let them know the fate of their belongings if they do not claim them in time (sale, junked, etc.)
You might be saying “how do I give a tenant who abandoned my property this notice?” Well, you can send it to their previous address that you have on file, any address you believe they may have access to (friend, family member) or their email address if they have given you that. If you successfully gave them the notice in person, you must give them at least 15 days before disposal. If you snail mail or email them, you must give them 18 days. While you can charge for storage, in California, if the tenant retrieves their things within 2 days of moving out, they will not owe you a storage fee. Keep all this in mind if you have to hire junk removal services for you Citrus Heights property.
Don’t go changing those locks all willy-nilly! You really must confirm that the property is abandoned. Look out for these tell-tale signs:
- Can a neighbor state they witnessed the tenant moving out?
- Have utilities been discontinued?
- Have important pieces of furniture been taken? (bed, couch, dinner table)
- Has there been a change of address filed with Postal Service?
Very personal and valuable items left in the home is a sign that the resident has not abandoned the property, so proceed with caution. If you think this is all too much to deal with, it may be time to cut your losses and get out of the landlord business. If that is the case, HomeSoldIn7 can buy abandoned rental properties with no need for you to spend a dime. We buy vacant houses as-is.