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What to Do with Tenant Belongings After Eviction (ALL STATES)

Updated: July 27, 2021

If you’re a landlord that happened upon personal belongings a tenant left behind after an eviction, don’t head to the dump just yet, or you may find yourself in another legal battle. If you’re a tenant, you should be aware of your rights if you had to leave in a hurry during an eviction process and couldn’t take everything with you.

It’s important to know that every state has different rules regarding what landlords can and can’t do with the abandoned property after a tenant is evicted. Find your state-mandated tenant property holding periods and other important information below.

Table of Contents

Getting Rid of Tenant Belongings After Evictions

While rules in each state vary, landlords usually stick to the following steps for abandoned belongings after evictions:

  1. The landlord or a cleaning crew disposes of anything deemed to be garbage
  2. Catalog items of value
  3. Issue a hand-delivered or mailed notice to the tenant informing them of their abandoned items
  4. The landlord might choose to keep the items in the property or move them to a secure and dry storage location
  5. Give the tenant an amount of time in accordance with state law to collect their possessions. For states that do not have requirements, 30 days is recommended.
  6. If the tenant does not collect their possessions, the landlord disposes of, gives away, or sells the items

Some states require landlords to disburse sale proceeds less storage fees to the tenants should they ask, some allow the landlord to keep the money, and others have different rules regarding what landlords can do with the money collected from sold tenant belongings. Check further down for state rules.

What To Do With Trash

Some “belongings” don’t amount to anything of value — we’re talking about trash. Generally, landlords are free to dispose of old bottles, wrappers, and other obvious garbage. Just make sure you’re not potentially tossing any memorabilia or important items that look worn but may have been important to the tenant.

State-by-State Holding Periods for Tenant Belongings

State

Personal Property Holding Period After Eviction

State Law

Alabama 14 days § 35-9A-423(d)
Alaska 15 days after notice § 34.03.260
Arizona 14 days A.R.S. § 33-1370
Arkansas None Ark. Code Ann. § 18-16-108
California 15 days after personally delivered notice, 18 days after mailed notice § 1984 and 1985
Colorado 15 days after notice Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-40-122
Connecticut 30 days after notice CT Gen Stat § 47a-11b
Delaware 7 days after notice Del. Code Ann. tit. 25, §§ 5507, 5715
Florida

10 days after personally-delivered notice

15 days after mailed notice

§ 715.105 and 715.106
Georgia None Georgia Code § 44-7-55
Hawaii 15 days after notice Haw. Rev. Stat. § 521-56
Idaho Landlord should file an eviction complaint to obtain permission from the court Idaho Code § 6-311C
Illinois None 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/9-318
Indiana 90 days after notice § 32-31-4-5
Iowa None
Kansas 30 days § 58-2565
Kentucky Not specified
Louisiana Not specified
Maine 7 days after notice § 6013
Maryland Not specified
Massachusetts Not specified, but landlords should include a clause in the lease that explains what will happen to abandoned property
Michigan None
Minnesota 28 days § 504B.271
Mississippi None
Missouri 10 days after notice Missouri Revised Statutes § 441.065
Montana 10 days after notice § 70-24-430
Nebraska 7 days after hand-delivered notice, 14 days after mailed notice Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 69-2303 to 69-2314
Nevada 30 days NRS 118A.460
New Hampshire 7 days after notice § 540-A:3
New Jersey 30 days after notice or 33 days after the landlord has mailed the notice N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2A:18-72 to 2A:18-84
New Mexico 30 days after notice §§47-8-36.1(A) and 48-3-5
New York Not specified
North Carolina

If the value of the property is less than $500, the tenant has 5 days to claim after notice has been delivered.

If the value is over $500, the tenant has 7 days to claim.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 42-29.9(h)
North Dakota 28 days § 47-16-30.1
Ohio Not specified
Oklahoma 15 days Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 41, § 130
Oregon Tenant has 5 days from receiving delivered notice, or 8 days from receiving a mailed notice, to notify the landlord of intent to collect possessions. The landlord must keep possessions for a total of 15 days after the tenant receives notice. § 90.425, 105.165
Pennsylvania 10 days to claim. If claimed, the landlord may have to store the property for 30 additional days at the tenant’s expense. Pa. Act 129
Rhode Island “Reasonable” amount of time. Must make efforts to notify tenant. R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-18
South Carolina Abandoned property valued at less than $500 may be disposed of. If property is valued at more than $500, the landlord must seek permission from the court to dispose of it. § 27-40-710
South Dakota 30 days § 43-32-25, 43-32-26
Tennessee 30 days Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-405
Texas Not specified
Utah 15 days after notice Utah Code Ann. § 78B-6-816
Vermont 15 days after notice Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 12 § 4854a
Virginia 10 days to respond after notice, then 24 additional hours to collect. The landlord is not required to provide notice if a clause was included in the lease. §§ 55.1-1249, 55.1-1254 to 55.1-1256
Washington 45 days Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 59.18.310
West Virginia 30 days after notice § 37-6-6
Wisconsin If the rental agreement stated that the landlord will not store property, it can be disposed of immediately. If not, 30 days after the notice is delivered to the tenant. Wisconsin Statutes § 704.05(5)(bf)
Wyoming 7 days after receiving notice to inform the landlord of intent to collect, and an additional 15 days to collect. WY Stat § 1-21-1210

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