Many landlords wonder what to do if a tenant’s personal property is left behind after the tenant has moved out or been evicted. To help you, we’re going to review Section 130 of the Oklahoma Landlord and Tenant Act. That Section addresses this concern and states:
If the tenant abandons or surrenders or is lawfully evicted from the property,
the landlord may dispose of the personal property in one of the following ways:
- Take Possession of Property with No Value
The landlord can take possession of the property and, if in the judgment of the landlord the property has no value, the landlord may dispose of it without any duty of accounting or liability to any party. The landlord may dispose of perishable property in any manner that the landlord sees fit.
- Written Notice to the Tenant of Property with Value
If the tenant leaves household goods, furnishings, fixtures, or other personal property in the dwelling, the landlord can take possession of that property, and if it has an ascertainable or apparent value, the landlord can provide written notice to the tenant by certified mail to the last known address. If the property is not removed in the specified timeframe, the property is deemed abandoned. Any property left with the landlord for 30 days or longer shall conclusively be determined to be abandoned, and as such, the landlord may dispose of it in any manner that’s reasonable and proper without any liability to the tenant or other interested parties.
- Storing a Tenant’s Personal Property
The landlord shall store all personal property of the tenant in a place of safekeeping and shall exercise reasonable care of the property. The landlord shall not be responsible to the tenant for any loss not caused by that landlord in a deliberate or negligent act. The landlord may elect to store the property in the dwelling unit that was abandoned or surrendered by the tenant in which the storage cost may not exceed the fair rental value of the premises. If the property is removed to a storage property, the cost should include the actual storage cost, and the removal from the premises and to the place of storage.
- Tenant’s Cost of Storing Property
If the tenant removes the personal property within the time period provided, the landlord is entitled to the cost of storage for the period that the property remained in the landlord’s safekeeping plus all other costs accrued under the rental agreement.
- Damages and Claims of Loss
The landlord may not be held responsible for damages in an action by a tenant claiming a loss by reason of the landlord’s election to destroy, sell, or otherwise dispose of property in compliance with the provisions of this Section. But, if the landlord deliberately or negligently violates the provisions of this Section, the landlord is liable for damages.
OKC Homes 4 You is ready to serve you when you need the services of a professional property manager in Oklahoma City. Contact us at OKC Homes 4 You when you need help with tenant belongings or anything pertaining to property management.