What could I do if I am stuck with my renters property? 3 Answers as of August 26, 2015

So, I am stuck with his belongings, his dog and no rent money. He has not informed me if or when he is returning. Can I remove his belongings, and take his dog to new home or shelter, so I can re-rent the room today?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
You could file suit for possession against him (as well as back rent) at the local District Magistrate's office. After you obtain an award of possession you can wait 10 days to see if the tenant files an appeal and, if he does not, you can then obtain an order for the possession of the premises allowing you to dispose of the property. The order for possession would have to include notice to the tenant that you may dispose of the personal property left behind if not claimed by the tenant. Should you sell it for an amount that exceeds the total of the back rent and court costs you would have to remit the difference to the tenant. However, this seldom happens as the personal property is usually worth little or nothing. The dog poses a different problem because something will have to be done to feed and it and to see that it receives proper care. In this case you might wish to contact either the Animal Rescue League or the county animal control to see if they would be willing to take custody of the dog.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 8/26/2015
Harper Law Offices, Inc. P.S.
Harper Law Offices, Inc. P.S. | Joseph T. G. Harper
If your tenant has failed to pay rent and has essentially abandoned the property, then you may take advantage of the abandonment statute, RCW 59.18.310. You must follow the procedures spelled out. "If the tenant defaults in the payment of rent and reasonably indicates by words or actions the intention not to resume tenancy, the tenant shall be liable for the following for such abandonment: PROVIDED, That upon learning of such abandonment of the premises the landlord shall make a reasonable effort to mitigate the damages resulting from such abandonment: (1) When the tenancy is month-to-month, the tenant shall be liable for the rent for the thirty days following either the date the landlord learns of the abandonment, or the date the next regular rental payment would have become due, whichever first occurs. (2) When the tenancy is for a term greater than month-to-month, the tenant shall be liable for the lesser of the following: (a) The entire rent due for the remainder of the term; or (b) All rent accrued during the period reasonably necessary to rerent the premises at a fair rental, plus the difference between such fair rental and the rent agreed to in the prior agreement, plus actual costs incurred by the landlord in rerenting the premises together with statutory court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. In the event of such abandonment of tenancy and an accompanying default in the payment of rent by the tenant, the landlord may immediately enter and take possession of any property of the tenant found on the premises and may store the same in any reasonably secure place. A landlord shall make reasonable efforts to provide the tenant with a notice containing the name and address of the landlord and the place where the property is stored and informing the tenant that a sale or disposition of the property shall take place pursuant to this section, and the date of the sale or disposal, and further informing the tenant of the right under RCW 59.18.230 to have the property returned prior to its sale or disposal. The landlord's efforts at notice under this subsection shall be satisfied by the mailing by first-class mail, postage prepaid, of such notice to the tenant's last known address and to any other address provided in writing by the tenant or actually known to the landlord where the tenant might receive the notice. The landlord shall return the property to the tenant after the tenant has paid the actual or reasonable drayage and storage costs whichever is less if the tenant makes a written request for the return of the property before the landlord has sold or disposed of the property. After forty-five days from the date the notice of such sale or disposal is mailed or personally delivered to the tenant, the landlord may sell or dispose of such property, including personal papers, family pictures, and keepsakes. The landlord may apply any income derived therefrom against moneys due the landlord, including actual or reasonable costs whichever is less of drayage and storage of the property. If the property has a cumulative value of two hundred fifty dollars or less, the landlord may sell or dispose of the property in the manner provided in this section, except for personal papers, family pictures, and keepsakes, after seven days from the date the notice of sale or disposal is mailed or personally delivered to the tenant: PROVIDED, That the landlord shall make reasonable efforts, as defined in this section, to notify the tenant. Any excess income derived from the sale of such property under this section shall be held by the landlord for the benefit of the tenant for a period of one year from the date of sale, and if no claim is made or action commenced by the tenant for the recovery thereof prior to the expiration of that period of time, the balance shall be the property of the landlord, including any interest paid on the income. So long as you provide notice as best as you can and it is reasonable, you can sell the property after the 45 days if the cumulative value of the property is $250 or more. If it is less, you only have to hold the property for 7 days. You may want to consult with an attorney to make sure you have everything covered, and to possibly obtain a decent form to use for providing notice.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/25/2015
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
Cannot opine without all of the details.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/25/2015
Click to View More Answers: