What should I do with my tenant’s personal property left in the rental premises?

Full Question:

My tenant vacated my house when the rental agreement ended but he has left some of his personal property in my house. What am I supposed to do with my tenant’s property? I live in California.
01/24/2017   |   Category: Landlord Tenant   |   State: California   |   #30889

Answer:

In California, if the tenant leaves behind any personal property after vacating the rental premises and terminating the tenancy, then the landlord may notify the tenant by written notice. The landlord is required to exercise reasonable care in storing the property in a place of safekeeping until the landlord either releases the property pursuant to Section 1987 or disposes of the property pursuant to Section 1988. The relevant statutory provisions in this regard are stated below.

Cal Civ Code § 1983 reads:
 
“(a) Where personal property remains on the premises after a tenancy has terminated and the premises have been vacated by the tenant, the landlord shall give written notice to the tenant and to any other person the landlord reasonably believes to be the owner of the property.”
Cal Civ Code § 1986reads:
“The personal property described in the notice shall either be left on the vacated premises or be stored by the landlord in a place of safekeeping until the landlord either releases the property pursuant to Section 1987 or disposes of the property pursuant to Section 1988. The landlord shall exercise reasonable care in storing the property, but he is not liable to the tenant or any other owner for any loss not caused by his deliberate or negligent act.”

In the given instance, you are required to store your tenant’s personal property in a safeplace and send a written notice to your tenant notifying him of the same.