ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Remove and Store Your Evicted Tenant's Belongings

Updated on December 16, 2014
For the eviction, everything the tenant owns must be boxed, secured and labeled.
For the eviction, everything the tenant owns must be boxed, secured and labeled. | Source
Everything will have to go when you do an eviction. Your constable may have to pack up your tenant's belongings before they can be removed from your property.
Everything will have to go when you do an eviction. Your constable may have to pack up your tenant's belongings before they can be removed from your property. | Source
These aren't bed bugs, but if they were, they could seriously side track your evicted tenant removal process
These aren't bed bugs, but if they were, they could seriously side track your evicted tenant removal process | Source
What will you do if your constable calls to tell you there is a chicken in your tenant's apartment?
What will you do if your constable calls to tell you there is a chicken in your tenant's apartment? | Source

Good Preparation is the Key to an Orderly Legal Move-Out

You have won your case in court and have the eviction notice in your hand. Finally, you think, you have finished spending time, money, and emotions on the eviction process. At this point, you probably don't care what happens to the tenant's belongings. You just want it out of your place. Unfortunately, this is the beginning of the next phase of your eviction - removing and disposing of the tenant's belongings from your property.

Before you start the eviction process, you should research and plan the process from the beginning to the end. Each phase of a residential eviction carries with it an action, a time period, obligations of law, and money. If you have won your case, the court will mail the eviction of judgment to you. By that time, you should already know the laws in your state regarding the removal and storage of an evicted tenant's belongings. This is your responsibility and obligation as the property owner.

This article contains some guidelines and actions a property owner with tenants should take as due diligence for his property. These guidelines should not overrule required legal action in your state regarding the removal of tenant belongings. Most states, such as Massachusetts, do not allow you to rent a U-Haul truck and remove your tenant's belongings on your own. This is the job of the constable or sheriff you must hire and pay to do the moving of furniture. Do not even change the locks to the apartment, until the constable has completed the eviction, and posted the legal notice on the apartment door.

There are states that require you to remove as well as store your tenant's belongings at the property owner's expense. Each state dictates how long the homeowner must pay for warehousing. The rate for storage of an evicted tenant's belongings should not be more than what that warehouse normally charges.

The tenant is usually notified in advance by the constable of the date and time the physical eviction will take place. Coordinate this information between you and the constable, so that the constable is given the keys to the unit for that day and time. Do not be in a hurry to 'convince' the tenant to leave on his or her own, by cutting off the utilities. This is illegal almost everywhere. Take the time to do it right the first time.

If you have reason to believe the tenant has moved out permanently on his or her own, you need to write a letter to that effect to the tenant's last known address, with a copy under their unit door. Give 48 hours notice for them to let you know whether or not they are still in the apartment, or you will enter and reclaim the unit by changing the locks. Be reasonable - if it appears that some items have been left for a last pickup (bed, cabinets, etc.), give it another day. It's cheaper than fighting about the value of what you threw out in small claims court. Take pictures before you throw items away, preferably before you bag it up.

The following suggestions just make good business practice. All it takes is one calamity with a tenant, and your eviction no longer has an ending; it will have a new legal beginning. Here are some reasonable guidelines for you and your constable:

1. Make sure your constable or sheriff is fully bonded and insured. Get it in writing.

If something bad happens to the tenant's belongings during the move-out or after warehoused, you want the constable's insurance company to be sued, not your home owners insurance.

2. Have a written contract with your constable that absolves you from liability once the constable or sheriff enters your house. The physical eviction move-out is the constable's responsibility. Give him the key to the building and apartment, or let him into the unit yourself, and let him do his job.

3. Have a plan for what will be done with items the constable will not take, such as food, plants, pets, illegal drugs, etc. Review your Emergency Contact Information Form for the name, address and telephone number of the tenant's next of kin if the totally unforeseen occurs, such as a child under the age of 18 years is left in the apartment on the day of the eviction.

4. The tenant should be informed in writing where their belongings have been taken and stored. A copy of the eviction notice should be attached to the apartment door for the tenant to know why the locks have been changed, The business name, address, and business telephone of the constable or sheriff should be provided.

5. All the property is to be removed at the same time, on the same day.

6. The tenant has the right to be able to get to where their belongings are stored. The constable should be instructed to store the tenant's belongings within a reasonable distance of their former housing.

7. The warehouse must be public, fully bonded, licensed, and insured.

8. The tenant should be given the business name, address, and telephone number of the warehouse where their belongings have been stored.

9. The tenant should be informed in writing how long their belongings will be stored at the warehouse, and can be sold at auction after that date. The warehouse may keep any proceeds of the auction to cover any unpaid storage fees.

10. The tenant notice should include information that it is his or her obligation to tell the warehouse of their new address.

11. In most states that require warehousing, the constable must file a list of what was removed from the apartment to the housing court after the eviction. You and the tenant should also get a copy.

You may think all of this is unnecessary. And, you could pay for non-compliance in your state with a triple damage lawsuit. Again, it is your responsibility as the property owner to know the state laws regarding the proper way to remove, store, and/or dispose of your evicted tenant's belongings. This information is available through your attorney. It can also be found at your local library, state house bookstore, online under a search such as "[name of your state] eviction storage laws", at a legal web site, or a landlord information web site.

This is an exerpt from the author's book, "Secret's to a Successful Eviction for Landlord's and Rental Property Managers."

New Note: The bed bug epidemic has added another aspect to the removal of an evicted tenant's belongings. If your constable finds evidence of a bed bug infestation during the eviction, he may refuse to do your eviction for fear of infecting his warehouse. You may be required to pay to remove all bed bugs from the apartment before the eviction.

There will be tenants who are not aware they have bed bugs. You will have to treat your building regardless, as the owner. This is a very costly service. You need to consult with your attorney concerning your financial liabilities regarding bed bug infestation and removal of an evicted tenant. For future reference, you may want to have your attorney include a bed bug infestation clause in your lease.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)