Renter left us in a hole  


My tenant was renting on a 30 day rental contract. She strung us along and has not paid rent for 3 months. On April 5 she gave notice to move - said it would take a week. Fifty days later the place is still not cleaned and the garage is full of her stuff. She does not return phone calls or respond to my emails unless she feels like it. Nor has she returned the key. I emailed her notice that I would be going in even though it is way past her 30 days. Went in and found it filthy, damaged screens and appliances, carpet, etc.. All of her stuff is out of the house but a lot remains in the garage including some furniture. Can I get her stuff out so I can rent the place? She told me weeks ago it would be gone and I have repeatedly asked/told her to take it out. I want to change the locks too.


You need to post your state for specific advice. SOME states have an abandonment law where you can document your attempts to contact the tenant and the lack of rent. You then serve/post notice, go in and inspect, and document the fact that no one is living there. This is followed by posting a notice on the premises and mailing it to forwarding & last known addresses, along with the address of any other place that you could reasonably believe the tenant would receive the notice. You wait a specific amount of time to see if the tenant contacts you. If the tenant does not, you remove the possessions (inventorying them as you go) and place them in storage. Then you change locks and prepare to re-rent. You store the items for the prescribed time and, if the tenant does not come to get them, you dispose of them according to your state laws.

So please list your state to get the specifics IF your state has this law.


RE: Renter left us in a hole - this occurred in the State of NV. I have not been able to get the specifics from our Realtors thus far.


Nevada does have a law on abandoned property. See Nevada Revised Statutes 118A.450 and 118A.460. Recovery of the premises is under 118A.480.

NRS 118A.450 Abandonment of dwelling unit by tenant: Remedies; presumption. If the landlord has notice of the fact of abandonment by the tenant, the landlord may dispose of the tenant’s personal property as provided in NRS 118A.460 and recover possession of the premises as provided by NRS 118A.480. In the absence of notice of the fact of abandonment, it is presumed that the tenant has abandoned a dwelling unit if the tenant is absent from the premises for a period of time equal to one-half the time for periodic rental payments, unless the rent is current or the tenant has in writing notified the landlord of an intended absence.

(Added to NRS by 1977, 1341)

NRS 118A.460 Procedure for disposal of personal property abandoned or left on premises.

1. The landlord may dispose of personal property abandoned on the premises by a former tenant or left on the premises after eviction of the tenant without incurring civil or criminal liability in the following manner:

(a) The landlord shall reasonably provide for the safe storage of the property for 30 days after the abandonment or eviction or the end of the rental period and may charge and collect the reasonable and actual costs of inventory, moving and storage before releasing the property to the tenant or his or her authorized representative rightfully claiming the property within that period. The landlord is liable to the tenant only for the landlord’s negligent or wrongful acts in storing the property.

(b) After the expiration of the 30-day period, the landlord may dispose of the property and recover his or her reasonable costs out of the property or the value thereof if the landlord has made reasonable efforts to locate the tenant, has notified the tenant in writing of his or her intention to dispose of the property and 14 days have elapsed since the notice was given to the tenant. The notice must be mailed to the tenant at the tenant’s present address, and if that address is unknown, then at the tenant’s last known address.

(c) Vehicles must be disposed of in the manner provided in chapter 487 of NRS for abandoned vehicles.

2. Any dispute relating to the amount of the costs claimed by the landlord pursuant to paragraph (a) of subsection 1 may be resolved using the procedure provided in subsection 7 of NRS 40.253.

(Added to NRS by 1977, 1341; A 1987, 1240; 1995, 1855)

NRS 118A.480 Landlord’s recovery of possession of dwelling unit. The landlord shall not recover or take possession of the dwelling unit by action or otherwise, including willful diminution or interruption or causing or permitting the diminution or interruption of any essential service required by the rental agreement or this chapter, except:

1. By an action for possession or other civil action or summary proceeding in which the issue of right of possession is determined;

2. When the tenant has surrendered possession of the dwelling unit to the landlord; or

3. When the tenant has abandoned the dwelling unit as provided in NRS 118A.450.


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