landlord rights What do I legally do with property left when a tenant left.

landlord rights
What do I legally do with property left when a tenant left. My rental apartment was rented to ”John” the first of March this year in Charlotte county and he payed first months rent and $300. security. When the 1st of April came he left (he’s gone back to using drugs and is living on the streets – this is fact not a guess). Anyway, my apartment is still not rented and I now have moved all his things into my garage but now what can I do? What does Florida law let me do with his stuff? We had a month to month agreement. Nothing in writing. Can I sell this stuff? I have seen him at a distance and he took off running. His drugging buddies tell me he’s back on the hard stuff and is running from the law. What can I legally do. Thank you.

2 thoughts on “landlord rights What do I legally do with property left when a tenant left.

  1. Re: landlord rights
    The procedure is outlined in Florida Statute 715?. Check out Ch.83 as well…
    Practical advice, avoid lowlife tenants, get proper security deposit, written lease to contain clause allowing you to dispose of property in the event of abandonment by tenant in default. Have a lawyer prepare form lease for you. If you are financially well enough to be a landlord, spring for a few bucks to protect yourself and your investment.JMC

    Joel Cohen
    Joel M. Cohen,P.A.
    238 East Intendencia Street
    Pensacola, FL 32501

  2. Re: landlord rights
    Besides wearing a bulletproof vest and making sure you don’t get poked with used hypodermic needles when attempting to collect rent, you may want to file an eviction action for possession, which will likely end up in a default final judgment in favor of the landlord. Before filing the action, post a 3-day notice to pay rent or deliver possession on the door of the homeless druggie (who actually has an apartment that is apparently not as warm and cozy as the drug and disease-ridden streets he sleeps in). The Florida Statutes, Chapter 83, sets forth the procedures you need to follow to get the judgment for possession.

    Once you have a judgment for possession, you can obtain the writ of possession which will allow you to schedule a visit by the Sheriff’s office to get into the apartment, empty it out, and re-let it to another fine tenant. You should consider placing the defaulting tenant’s personal property in storage, but it may not be necessary. You can leave it outside the door of the premises and what will be, will be. It is likely that the tenant will not hire Johnny Cochran or any other lawyer to pursue any claims for his treasured possessions (assuming he ever recalls where he once lived), if they are lost or taken by third parties after their removal from the apartment. Since you do not own the tenant’s belongings, you should not attempt to sell them — you cannot convey or transfer proper title to such property. If the condition of the apartment poses a safety hazard or potential danger to the building or its other tenants, you are free to go into the apartment to attempt to cure such dangerous or unsafe condition. Indeed, you may have a duty to do just that. Of course, if you find any illegal materials (e.g. illegal drugs) or corpses, contact the police immediately.

    Always seek the advice of counsel before pursuing any course of action and good luck.

    Peter Gonzalez
    Sanchez-Medina, Gonzalez, Quesada, Lage, Crespo, Gomez & MachadoLLP
    2333 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Suite 302
    Coral Gables, FL 33134

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