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What Should Portland Landlords Do When Tenants Leave Belongings Behind?

Property Management and Tenant Placement

What Should Portland Landlords Do When Tenants Leave Belongings Behind?


It doesn’t matter if you own rental properties in Portland Oregon for one year, or longer, you will have at least some tenants who leave belongings behind after they’ve moved or vacated your rental property.

Even though you may be tempted to toss most of their belongings into a dumpster, or list them for free pm Craigslist, the reality is that there is a process to follow which ensures that you follow the law.

In this article, we will offer you several tips on what you should do next when a tenant leaves their belongings behind.

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How To Deal With Tenants Who Leave Their Belongings Behind

Once a tenant moves out, in most cases they will already have a forwarding address set up for them to forward their mail to.

This is why your first course of action should be to mail them a letter that notifies them that you’ve placed their belongings in storage and they have 30 days to recover their items. If they don’t respond within 30 days, you’re free to dispose of their items as you see fit.

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What If Their Belongings Are Abandoned?

Once the tenant’s personal belongings are considered abandoned, the landlord has the right and the responsibility to deal with them. Regardless of how the belongings were abandoned, the landlord cannot dispose of them until after meeting several important requirements. The only exception from these requirements is if the landlord and the tenant agree in writing no more than seven days before the tenancy ends, or after the tenancy is over.

If you are a landlord, your first responsibility is to give the tenant a written abandonment notice explaining that his or her belongings are considered abandoned and have been safely stored. (If the tenant has died, the notice must be given to the tenant’s heirs and the estate administrator of the Oregon Department of State Lands.) The notice must explain that the tenant must contact you within 5 days after personal delivery of the notice or 8 days after mail delivery of the notice to arrange for the removal of the belongings, or else you may sell them or throw them away. (The time period is 45 days for abandoned recreational vehicles, manufactured dwellings, and floating homes.)

The abandonment notice must also tell the tenant how to contact you, and that you will make the belongings available for removal by appointment at reasonable times. The notice must explain that, under certain circumstances, there could be a storage charge the tenant must pay. Finally, if you think the fair market value of the tenants belongings is worth $1000 or less, or so low that the cost of storage and sale probably exceeds the amount that would be realized from the sale, the notice must say that you will throw away or give away any belongings not claimed within the required period.

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