If you’re a property owner and dealing with abandoned property, you may wonder what your options are. Today’s blog discusses what is considered “abandonment” and what you can do if you’re in this situation.
What is an Abandoned House?
Due to either a foreclosure or bankruptcy or for financial or legal reasons, someone may abandon a home and vacate it. Most homes are abandoned because of financial difficulties and are typically rundown and need renovating. If you’re the property owner, this could cause a major issue and setback. However, abandoned homes are attractive to investors, flippers, and wholesalers since they sell lower than market value.
The property is usually considered abandoned when either the tenant has been gone for 30 days without explanation or at least 15 days have passed since the tenant was supposed to pay rent; this is usually evident if the tenant has vacated the property.
What Rights Does the Landlord Have?
In New Hampshire, the landlord must maintain and exercise reasonable care in the storage of a tenant’s personal property who has vacated the premises – either voluntarily or involuntarily (eviction) – for 28 days.
Here are some steps you need to take that helps reduce your risk of liability for damages:
- Itemize all tenanted property by creating a list of all the items your tenant left behind. Take pictures or videos of each item to show its condition, which protects you from any damage claims.
- Store the property safely, such as in a storage unit, until the tenant comes and reclaims them or the required time has passed for when you can dispose of them. You can use a storage facility or rental unit or even your garage to store the items.
- Notify the tenant(s) by writing a notice to all the tenants who could claim ownership of the property. Deliver it in-person or by first class mail with a return receipt with the following items: an itemized list of property left at the rental unit, descriptive enough for the tenants to identify them, deadline for claiming the property, where the property is located, the charge for storing their property, and information on what you will do with the property if it’s not claimed within the required timeline.
During this period, the tenant can recover their property without paying rent or storage fees. After this time, the landlord has the right to dispose of the property without notifying the tenant and charge the tenant for storing the items.
Need Help with Abandoned Property?
If you’re in a situation where a tenant has abandoned a rental property, and you don’t want to deal with trying to re-rent it and possibly go through more problems, contact NH Home Buyers. We buy homes in the Southern, NH area that have been abandoned with a simple process for landlords. If you’re looking for a no-stress, no-obligation, and best, no fees or commission and more money in your pocket, we look forward to hearing from you!