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Instructions for Notice of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property

If you have the tenant sign the abandoned property agreement attached immediately below the “Abandoned Property Notice” you may dispose of the tenant’s abandoned property as you wish with out any notices.

If the tenant was evicted by the sheriff, such property should now be on the curb and you have no further responsibility for its disposition.

If you did not execute an abandoned property agreement and the tenant has left personal property behind without the benefit of having been evicted, you must issue a “Notice of Right to Reclaim abandoned property.” The landlord must have a “reasonable belief” that the property is abandoned. The landlord should engage in reasonable inquiry as to the fate of the tenant in determining if the property has been abandoned.

Delivery: Send a copy to the former tenant by certified mail with a copy by regular mail. If there are other tenants or other persons you believe might own the property abandoned at the premises you must notify them too.

Contents of Notice:

  • Describe the property left in the premises in a manner reasonably adequate to permit the owner of the property to identify it. You are not protected from liability against any person not notified or regarding any property not described on the notice, except that with regards to any property contained in a manner which deters immediate access to its contents (i.e. a locked trunk, or tied box) you may describe the container.

  • Identify the tenant’s last know address. If you have a reasonable belief that the tenant won’t receive the notice there, you must send another copy to such other address known to you where the tenant may reasonably be expected to receive it. If you have specific information indicating that an investigation of the tenant’s whereabouts would probably reveal pertinent information, and the cost of such investigation would be reasonable in relation to the probable value of the personal property involved, you will be considered to have known such facts as an investigation would have revealed.

  • Maintain the tenant’s property either on the premises or in a place of safekeeping until the tenant claims it or you dispose of it after the expiration of the notice period. You must exercise reasonable care in storing the property and are liable for intentional or negligent damage of it by you.

  • Costs of storage may be assessed against the tenant for all the property left at the premises. Any other owner of property left at the premises may be charged storage only for their particular property.

Time to claim the property: the tenant has 10 days from delivery, or 15 days from the date of mailing to reclaim the property.

Public auction: Property valued over $500.00 is supposed to be sold at public auction and the proceeds remitted to the county and deducting costs. The auction must be advertised once a week for two consecutive weeks in the newspaper. The notice must state the time and place of the auction, the tenant’s name, the property address, and describe the goods. The auction must take place at least ten days after the first publication and no later than five days after the second publication.

 

Law Offices of:
Alexander Patrick Johnson,
420 SE 13th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Telephone (954) 779-7050