Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default When Can I Take Possession if Tenant Appears to Have Moved but Left Items

    My question involves an eviction in the state of:Texas

    The 30 day notice to vacate date has passed on a month to month verbal agreement. It appears the tenant has vacated but has left several items, some furniture, old TV, some kitchen/bath items, a few clothes...mostly trash. He does not return phone calls in attempt to contact him. Can I clean it out now?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: When Can I Take Possession if Tenant Appears to Have Moved but Left Items

    Do you have any language in your lease defining abandonment? If so, what is it?

    Who gave the notice - you or the tenant?

    Have you left messages for the tenant? Do you have a forwarding address so you can mail notice of your intentions to the tenant? Have you tried posting a notice on the door? If you've done any of the above, did you tell the tenant that the premises appear abandoned and that as of a particular date you'll remove and discard any remaining items as garbage? (What, if anything, have you stated to the tenant?)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: When Can I Take Possession if Tenant Appears to Have Moved but Left Items

    There was nothing in the agreement about abandonment, it was verbal.....X$ a month. I am evicting him. It has been two days since the date I gave him to vacate, the same day I left a voice mail asking what his status was. No answere. Which is nothing new, he never answered the door or phone in the past. Even though there is an attempt to move out, I think he has a legal right to stay until I legally evict him....no?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: When Can I Take Possession if Tenant Appears to Have Moved but Left Items

    If he has abandoned the premises, you have the opportunity to remove his belongings under Texas Code Sec.92.0081(b)(2). If not, then not.

    It is helpful to define "abandonment" in your rental agreement, to reduce the chance that you can be successfully sued if you take action against a tenant who by most appearances has moved out. That 36" CRT that looks like garbage? I wouldn't put it past a tenant to claim that it's a $million antique.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: When Can I Take Possession if Tenant Appears to Have Moved but Left Items

    Exactly my concern! This is actually a tenant of my elderly mom whos mess I'm trying to clean up. Although, I have tenants of my own. This is definetly something I need to revise in my lease. So how do you define "abandonment"?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: When Can I Take Possession if Tenant Appears to Have Moved but Left Items

    I don't.

    If you are concerned that the apartment is not abandoned, such that the statute applies, proceed with an eviction.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: When Can I Take Possession if Tenant Appears to Have Moved but Left Items

    You don't? I guess it crosses that line on legal advice? Thanks for your input, it was very helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: When Can I Take Possession if Tenant Appears to Have Moved but Left Items

    The court defines abandonment, and as there's no statutory definition that would ordinarily mean turning to the "plain language meaning" of the term as found in a dictionary, if not previously defined by precedent (case law). It's easy to find a dictionary and offer a definition of "abandoned", but nobody can promise that any given "plain language" definition will be the one a court will use. It doesn't happen often, but I've seen courts go into contortions to misinterpret a dictionary definition in order to shape an outcome.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Roommates: Moved Out, Left Items and Didn't Pay Rent
    By deezwick in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-10-2012, 11:39 AM
  2. Probate Court Procedure: Small Claims Lawsuit Over Items Left in a Will
    By lagrutke in forum Estate Planning, Administration and Probate
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-17-2011, 01:48 PM
  3. Moving Out: Former House Guest Left Items Behind
    By Tfish in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-30-2011, 08:26 PM
  4. Roommates: Items Missing when Roommate Moved Out
    By cranberi58 in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-05-2010, 09:31 AM
  5. Moving Out: I Have Left a Few Belongings - How Long Do I Have to Retrieve These Items
    By spatterson3 in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-04-2009, 08:15 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources