What to do with tenants stuff left behind (required by Ohio law)

This is a discussion on What to do with tenants stuff left behind (required by Ohio law) within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; We recently evicted a tenant. We followed the process required by Ohio law starting with the three day notice, ending ...

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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default What to do with tenants stuff left behind (required by Ohio law)

We recently evicted a tenant. We followed the process required by Ohio law starting with the three day notice, ending with a writ. The tenants were given until 9 a.m. this morning to vacate the property. They were required to leave the keys and garage door opener but did not do so. We have changed the locks. They left behind quite a lot of their belongings. Since they have been legally evicted, and have moved out, is the property that they left behind now the property of the landlord? We were told we could put their property to the curb, but would like to sell the property if possible. Is it considered abandoned? We do have an abadonement clause in our lease that states if the property is vacated by the tenant for five days while in arears, the property is considered abandoned.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 11:16 PM   #2
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Default re: What to do with tenants stuff left behind (required by Ohio law)

I wish to inform you that landlord cannot change locks without court order. When you give eviction notice then
either tenant can leave the premises and give the keys or landlord can file eviction lawsuit and court order will evict tenant. Under Ohio Revised Code Section 5321.15 you cannot change laws in this matter. Further for the things left behind you can give inform tenant to take away his things and pay you the charges for storage. If tenant does not act then you will require court order.

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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 08:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: What to do with tenants stuff left behind (required by Ohio law)

We did go to court and were granted eviction. They did not show up for court. We obtained a writ. We were set up to go to the apartment with the sheriff on a friday morning. The tenant called the owner and asked if they could stay through friday. The tenants were told they had to vacate by 9 a.m. saturday and to leave the keys and garage door opener on the kitchen counter. When we went the to apartment on saturday, they had vacated the property but had left several of their personal items behind. The tenants did not leave the keys or garage door opener. We were told we were allowed to change the locks since the tenants were evicted. I know that we can remove their things and put them at the curb, but we would like to know if we have to do that or if their belongings can be sold instead. It has been several days and no word from the tenants requesting their things. We would like to start painting and repairing the damage that was done to the apartment as soon as possible.
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Old Jun 4th, 2012, 07:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: What to do with tenants stuff left behind (required by Ohio law)

Once one has complied with the eviction statutes, eviction has been ordered, whatever the tenant leaves behind after sheriff's notice has been served, is considered abandoned property. Disregard the advice about not changing locks for that it is incorrect. Once the eviction order has been served, possession of the property reverts to the owner in total and changing the locks is customarily done when a tenant has been evicted. It is common sense to do so to bar the person from returning.

Abandoned property is abandoned property and you may do with it what you wish. You may take it to the curb for others to pick up or you may sell it if you wish.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 10:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: What to do with tenants stuff left behind (required by Ohio law)

Here in Perth we must give notice of intention to dispose of the goods to the Commissioner of Police which will then go through to the magistrates for the formal channel. If there is still no response from the property owner, we can apply for an order to dispose or sell the goods. Start looking for solid legal advice to see what your chances of success are.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 12:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: What to do with tenants stuff left behind (required by Ohio law)

You cannot dispose of your tenants' abandoned property without prior proper notice and without providing them with an opportunity to reclaim their belongings. However, if the tenant doesn’t come to get their property within the specified time mentioned in the notice, they no longer have any claim to it and they lose all rights to it. You can then sell, keep or dispose of the tenant’s property. Consult an attorney for further advice.
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Old Jul 1st, 2014, 06:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: What to do with tenants stuff left behind (required by Ohio law)

The attached may help the OP. Remember that if you store this property the previous tenants are responsible for any storage costs.

Often those that are evicted leave no forwarding address. Simply send the letter to the last known address (your rental property), collect it and keep it unopened in your files. That way if they later claim you sold Aunt Fannies antique dining room set (when it was actually some junk they picked up off the street) you have proof you made an honest attempt to notify them of what they had left behind:

Handling a Tenant's Abandoned Property in Ohio | Nolo.com

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