If my tenant moved out after giving proper notice but left an unworking automobile in the driveway, what are my options?

UPDATED: Feb 29, 2012

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If my tenant moved out after giving proper notice but left an unworking automobile in the driveway, what are my options?

I know they have 14 days to reclaim the car, but if they don’t, I would like to donate it to a non-profit. I do not, however, have the keys or the title. Do I need to get the title and/or keys? Also, am I obligated to sell it or can I legally donate it? I don’t think it will be worth much but certainly it will be worth over $100.

Asked on February 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states, for you to properly get rid of the former tenant's vehicle on your property, I would send them written notice of their need to pick it up in so many days and if not, you will consider it abandoned. Keep a copy of the letter for future need and reference.

If the vehicle is not picked up in the states time period and if you believe it is worth less than $300, you can dispose of it any way you wish. If you believe that the car is worth more than $300, I would contact a towing company and have it disposed of as an abandoned vehicle on your property.

The vehicle technically is not yours per se to donate to a charity so you really do not need title and keys to do so. I would simply give it to a charity and it it wants to give you a receipt for it, that would be fine.

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