There is the right way and the wrong way of handling other peoples personal property as a landlord. The wrong way could cost you dearly so here’s the right way. Chapter 715.10-715.111, F.S. are known as the Disposition of Personal Property Landlord and Tenant Act. This act provides how to handle personal property that remains on the premises after the tenancy has terminated or expired and the premises have been vacated through eviction, surrender, abandonment, or other means.
When personal property remains on the premises, the landlord shall give written notice to the tenant (and any other person the landlord believes to be the owner of the personal property) as follows (Chapter 715.104, 715.105 and 715.106, F.S.):
- A description of the property
- The cost of reasonable storage, if any
- Notice that the property will be sold at a public sale after notice of the sale, if the property is not claimed by a certain date
- Notice that the property may be sold, kept, or destroyed if the property is believed to be worth less than $500
The timeframe to offer the property for sale or otherwise shall not be fewer than 10 days if the notice is personally delivered or 15 days if mailed.
However, pursuant to Chapter 83.67(5), F.S., the landlord is not required to comply with the above requirements for the storage or disposition of the tenant’s personal property if the following disclosure is given to the tenant in the rental agreement or in a written agreement separate from the rental agreement. The disclosure must be in substantially the following form:
BY SIGNING THIS RENTAL AGREEMENT, THE TENANT AGREES THAT UPON SURRENDER, ABANDONMENT, OR RECOVERY OF POSSESSION OF THE DWELLING UNIT DUE TO THE DEATH OF THE LAST REMAINING TENANT, AS PROVIDED BY CHAPTER 83, FLORIDA STATUTES, THE LANDLORD SHALL NOT BE LIABLE OR RESPONSIBLE FOR STORAGE OR DISPOSITION OF THE TENANT’S PERSONAL PROPERTY.
I’m not a lawyer, but I see a few grey areas (Where lawyers make a living) here. Like, Landlord shall give written notice to the tenant (and any other person the landlord believes to be the owner….) Believes to be? Are you kidding me? Notice that the property will or may be sold. Ok, what kind of notice? If the property is believed to be worth less than $500. Ok, big screen TV- nope, I don’t “believe” it to be worth more than $499, I guess I’m just going to have to keep it.
But thank god for Chapter 83.67(5), F.S. If you’re a landlord, this is definitely the way to go. This is how we roll with all our leases.
For more Landlord/Tenant tips, you might want to see (How to handle deposits)
teamDoral is a RE/MAX Premier Associates Group. Richard Recuset is a Realtor®,team leader, Short Sale Agent, Listing Marketing Specialist,Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), and Certified Commercial Specialist (CCS), serving the City of Doral, Fl and surrounding areas.
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