What Should Landlords Do About Stuff Tenants Leave Behind?
From time to time a tenant moves out in a hurry, leaving behind personal belonging they either have no use for any more, or don’t have room for in their next home. This is called abandoned property — and it can be a real headache for landlords.
And, we’re not talking about a few pieces of trash or a hairbrush. We’re talking about belongings like furniture, electronics, and clothing.
Why a Hassle For Landlords?
Dealing with abandoned property is a hassle for property owners for several reasons. First, it takes time to clear out the home and get it rent-ready for the next tenant. Second, there are serious legal implications if the abandoned property isn’t handled property. HERE are the complete rules and conditions that apply to rental property owners in the state of Nevada.
In the meantime, there are several common-sense steps you can take to handle this type of situation.
- Be sure that you have control over access to the former tenant’s personal property by recovering all keys and garage door openers, or by changing the rental home’s locks. One of the worst things a property owner can do is allow a former tenant’s personal property to be stolen after the tenant has moved out. Civil and criminal charges may result, creating many unwanted legal problems.
- Document the abandoned property. This can be done in several ways. For example, you can make a detailed video recording of the items, taking photographs, or by making a detailed list. Taking photos and video accompanied by a detailed written list of items is the best way to document the property’s condition, in case questions about property damage arise later on.
- Once it’s determined that you are legally able to move the abandoned items, it is a good idea to invite a neutral person to act as a witness as you do so. This will prevent any questions about theft or illegal handling of the tenant’s property, and provide confirmation that the property is being handled safely and appropriately. In most cases, holding property until terms of the lease are met will not be lawful, make sure you fully understand the tenant rights to reclaim their property in Nevada.
- Notify the former tenant in writing that property was left behind and what you have done with it to date. You could also include a statement informing the tenant that they have until a certain date to claim their items, and what you plan to do with their things after that date.
It’s not easy trying to navigate these circumstances on your own. Consider how much easier it would be to let the Southwestern Management and Realty Team handle this for you. Our Las Vegas property management professionals have in-depth knowledge of local laws and can ensure that abandoned property is handled accordingly.
With our help, you can avoid time-consuming hassles, leaving you free to make more money from your rental property.