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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    8

    Default How Long is a Landord Required to Hold Personal Property of a Vacated Ex-Tenent

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California

    Well first of all, this question isn't for me. It's for my parents, but they aren't exactly internet savvy, so I'm looking for advice for them. Basically, long story short, they did my cousin a favor and let him stay in their travel trailer on their property, with house privileges, after his roommate moved out and he couldn't stay because he wasn't actually on the lease. He didn't have a lease with my parents, they were basically only charging for utilities and food. Even though this was an informal agreement, without much payment in the way of rent, I know that in California, that doesn't really make a difference in terms of the law, and my parents are liable as landlords.

    So he left, to a different state for a job. But he left a bunch of his stuff in the trailer. He said he would be back in two weeks to get the rest of his stuff. Well he didn't. And it's been more than a month. They wouldn't especially care, except that they want to sell the trailer now, and the stuff he left is fairly high value. So how long are they required to wait? And if there's any amount of times they have to try to contact? They've called and texted (he has our numbers), and I've sent instant messages which I know he's had access to (thank you Facebook). He left no forwarding address.

    Another problem is that he left a rifle in the trailer. I know that no one in this forum may know what to do about that. But as per California state law my parents can't take legal possession of it without transfer by owner through a licensed dealer, it can't be sold or just thrown away. So we don't really know what to do about that in the event that my parents sell, dispose, or otherwise get rid of everything else.

    Any advice would be appreciated. My parents aren't trying to screw over my cousin, they just want their trailer back, and to handle this the right way in order to protect themselves legally. Thus far, he's abandoned his stuff with no attempt to contact.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,097

    Default Re: How Long is a Landord Required to Hold Personal Property of a Vacated Ex-Tenent

    Quote Quoting Forkeh
    View Post
    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California

    Well first of all, this question isn't for me. It's for my parents, but they aren't exactly internet savvy, so I'm looking for advice for them. Basically, long story short, they did my cousin a favor and let him stay in their travel trailer on their property, with house privileges, after his roommate moved out and he couldn't stay because he wasn't actually on the lease. He didn't have a lease with my parents, they were basically only charging for utilities and food. Even though this was an informal agreement, without much payment in the way of rent, I know that in California, that doesn't really make a difference in terms of the law, and my parents are liable as landlords.

    So he left, to a different state for a job. But he left a bunch of his stuff in the trailer. He said he would be back in two weeks to get the rest of his stuff. Well he didn't. And it's been more than a month. They wouldn't especially care, except that they want to sell the trailer now, and the stuff he left is fairly high value. So how long are they required to wait? And if there's any amount of times they have to try to contact? They've called and texted (he has our numbers), and I've sent instant messages which I know he's had access to (thank you Facebook). He left no forwarding address.

    Another problem is that he left a rifle in the trailer. I know that no one in this forum may know what to do about that. But as per California state law my parents can't take legal possession of it without transfer by owner through a licensed dealer, it can't be sold or just thrown away. So we don't really know what to do about that in the event that my parents sell, dispose, or otherwise get rid of everything else.

    Any advice would be appreciated. My parents aren't trying to screw over my cousin, they just want their trailer back, and to handle this the right way in order to protect themselves legally. Thus far, he's abandoned his stuff with no attempt to contact.
    One option is to move all of his stuff out of the trailer and store it somewhere else. Then they are free to deal with the trailer as they see fit. In the short term that would likely be the best way to deal with things.

    In the long term, if your parents reach the point where they are legally allowed to dispose of the property, then they should likely just turn the rifle over to local law enforcement.

    As far as the rifle is concerned

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: How Long is a Landord Required to Hold Personal Property of a Vacated Ex-Tenent

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    One option is to move all of his stuff out of the trailer and store it somewhere else. Then they are free to deal with the trailer as they see fit. In the short term that would likely be the best way to deal with things.

    In the long term, if your parents reach the point where they are legally allowed to dispose of the property, then they should likely just turn the rifle over to local law enforcement.

    As far as the rifle is concerned
    Yeah that's what we're thinking of doing for now. But they also don't want to be responsible for his things indefinitely. They don't have a very big house (the large tv poses a problem), and they aren't comfortable leaving the electronics in the garage (it's been known to flood a little with heavy rain. The house is raised, but the garage isn't). At some point they will want to get rid of the stuff. We'd like him to have his stuff, but he's ignoring all contact, so we're a little unsure what to do down the line.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,787

    Default Re: How Long is a Landord Required to Hold Personal Property of a Vacated Ex-Tenent

    Quote Quoting Forkeh
    View Post
    Yeah that's what we're thinking of doing for now. But they also don't want to be responsible for his things indefinitely. They don't have a very big house (the large tv poses a problem), and they aren't comfortable leaving the electronics in the garage (it's been known to flood a little with heavy rain. The house is raised, but the garage isn't). At some point they will want to get rid of the stuff. We'd like him to have his stuff, but he's ignoring all contact, so we're a little unsure what to do down the line.
    CA has a procedure with regard to tenant's abandoned property:

    Start at Section 1983 at the following link:

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/di...file=1980-1991

    Make sure your parents follow the directions to the letter (or they risk getting sued and losing).

    If they get no results within the appropriate amount of time after proper notice they should call the police and have them pick up the rifle and then dispose of the rest of the property as required by the statute.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: How Long is a Landord Required to Hold Personal Property of a Vacated Ex-Tenent

    That's what I was looking for, thank you. Like I said, I'm sure my parents will hang on to the stuff for a while, but at a certain point there has to be an actual solution.

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