Abandoned Property Notice

The Abandoned Property Notice is used when the Landlord has sufficient proof that the rental unit is abandoned and personal property was left behind.

Document Last Modified: 1/27/2016

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State Specific Clauses

WA State Assist


In the event of such abandonment of tenancy and an accompanying default in the payment of rent by the tenant, the landlord may immediately enter and take possession of any property of the tenant found on the premises and may store the same in any reasonably secure place.

A landlord shall make reasonable efforts to provide the tenant with a notice containing the name and address of the landlord and the place where the property is stored and informing the tenant that a sale or disposition of the property shall take place pursuant to RCW 59.18.310, and the date of the sale or disposal, and further informing the tenant of the right under RCW 59.18.230 to have the property returned prior to its sale or disposal.

The landlord's efforts at notice under this subsection shall be satisfied by the mailing by first-class mail, postage prepaid, of such notice to the tenant's last known address and to any other address provided in writing by the tenant or actually known to the landlord where the tenant might receive the notice.

The landlord shall return the property to the tenant after the tenant has paid the actual or reasonable drayage and storage costs whichever is less if the tenant makes a written request for the return of the property before the landlord has sold or disposed of the property.

After forty-five days from the date the notice of such sale or disposal is mailed or personally delivered to the tenant, the landlord may sell or dispose of such property, including personal papers, family pictures, and keepsakes.

The landlord may apply any income derived therefrom against moneys due the landlord, including actual or reasonable costs whichever is less of drayage and storage of the property.

PLEASE NOTE: If the property has a cumulative value of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or less, the landlord may sell or dispose of the property in the manner provided in this section, except for personal papers, family pictures, and keepsakes, after seven days from the date the notice of sale or disposal is mailed or personally delivered to the tenant: PROVIDED, That the landlord shall make reasonable efforts, as defined in this section, to notify the tenant.

Any excess income derived from the sale of such property under this section shall be held by the landlord for the benefit of the tenant for a period of one year from the date of sale, and if no claim is made or action commenced by the tenant for the recovery thereof prior to the expiration of that period of time, the balance shall be the property of the landlord, including any interest paid on the income.

WARNING: A landlord may face steep penalties In any action brought by a tenant or other person to recover possession of his or her personal property taken or detained by a landlord in violation of Washington regulations.

Contacting an attorney before removing or disposing of a tenant's property may be a wise move.


How To Use The Abandoned Property Notice

When a landlord has sufficient proof that a tenant of their property has abandoned the residence then the landlord may use this notice to give to the tenant. This notice makes the tenant aware of the situation and begins the 30 day period for the tenant to contact the landlord before the landlord is able to regain control of the property through the official abandonment process.

This notice can be used when the landlord has definite proof that the tenant has vacated the property even if they have left some of their personal property behind.

Note: Each state has a different method of handling this situation. Some states have specific ways methods and procedures that should be followed in order to regain possession of the property and dispose of any personal items the tenant may have left behind.

The Information In The Notice

The notice itself lets the tenant know that the landlord has made many attempts to contact them with no success and therefore is deeming the property abandoned. The form also details what was left behind at the property and when the landlord entered the premises to make this assessment.

    This list can includes items such as:
  • Car
  • Jewelry
  • Clothes
  • Appliances
  • Bedding

The notice is dated and instructs the tenant to respond to the notice within 30 days of this date or the landlord will begin the abandonment process.

All of these details are included to ensure the tenant is fully aware of the situation and how to cure it should they come back to the property within the 30-day compliance period.

Timing

During the 30 day period there are marks of time that allow the landlord to remove possessions from the property and even sell them. Tenants and landlords should keep in mind that this property may be stored and sold for the profit of the landlord if the property and the personal possessions inside have been abandoned.

Advice and Tips

The professional team at EZ Landlord Forms have years of experience and tricks that they offer in articles applying to being a property owner and manager overall and that relate to the rules of specific states. These can be found at: https://www.ezlandlordforms.com/articles/news/

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