what are the rules about left items in a home after the tenant has been evicted?

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what are the rules about left items in a home after the tenant has been evicted?

I own a property and was renting it to family. They did not pay so I went throught the eviction process. They now have abandoned the property and left all of their stuff in the unit.Can I sell it or just take it to a donation place?What do I have to do legallly?

Asked on May 21, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Utah

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

According to Section 78-36-12.6. of the Utah Civil Code:  
     
     (2) (a) If the tenant has abandoned the premises and has left personal property on the premises, the owner is entitled to remove the property from the dwelling, store it for the tenant, and recover actual moving and storage costs from the tenant.
     (b) (i) The owner shall make reasonable efforts to notify the tenant of the location of the personal property.
     (ii) If the property has been in storage for over 30 days and the tenant has made no reasonable effort to recover it, the owner may:
     (A) sell the property and apply the proceeds toward any amount the tenant owes; or
     (B) donate the property to charity if the donation is a commercially reasonable alternative.
     (c) Any money left over from the sale of the property shall be handled as specified in Title 67, Chapter 4a, Part 2, Standards for Determining When Property is Abandoned or Unclaimed.
     (d) Nothing contained in this act shall be in derogation of or alter the owner's rights under Title 38, Chapter 3, Lessors' Liens.

Amended by Chapter 352, 1997 General Session

Hope this helps.

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Before you do anything, please talk to an attorney in your area about this.  One place to look for a qualified lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com

I'm not a Utah lawyer, and there doesn't seem to be anything in the statutes that relates directly to this question.  The law is generally very protective of tenants, even deadbeat former tenants, and mistakes can be very expensive.  Legal advice, based on all of the facts of your case, is cheap insurance.


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