What is the definition of “abandonment”?
August 16, 2022
By Site Producer Attorney & Retired Law Professor
Residential – Landlord Tenant Provisions for Abandonment & Storage of Personal Property, see A.R.S. §33-1370.
For the purposes of this section, it means either the tenant’s absence from the dwelling unit for at least seven days without notice to the landlord if the rent for the dwelling unit is outstanding and unpaid for ten days and there is no reasonable evidence other than the presence of the tenant’s personal property that the tenant is occupying the residence, or the tenant’s absence for at least five days if the rent for the dwelling unit is outstanding and unpaid for ten days and none of the tenant’s personal property is in the residence.
The landlord may store the tenant’s personal belongings in the unoccupied housing unit that was abandoned by the tenant, in any other available unit or any storage space held by the landlord, or off the premises if no dwelling unit or storage space is available. In the same manner as described in subsection A of this section, the landlord must notify the renter of the location of the personal property.
After the landlord declares abandonment, the tenant’s personal property is held by the landlord for ten days. The landlord must hold the tenant’s personal belongings with reasonable care. If the landlord holds the property for this period and the tenant makes no reasonable effort to recover it, the landlord may sell it, keep the proceeds, and apply them to the tenant’s outstanding rent or other costs that are covered by the lease agreement or otherwise provided for in title 33, chapter 10 or title 12, chapter 8 and that the landlord has incurred as a result of the tenant’s abandonment. Any remaining funds will be mailed to the tenant at his or her last known address. Except for clothing, tools, apparatus, and books of a trade or profession, and any identification or financial documents, including all those related to the tenant’s immigration status, employment status, public assistance, or medical care, a tenant does not have any right of access to that property until the actual removal and storage costs have been paid in full. The landlord may destroy or otherwise dispose of some or all of the property if the landlord reasonably decides that the expense of moving, storage, and conducting a public auction exceeds the amount that would be realized from the sale, as stated by a written rental agreement.
The landlord must preserve adequate records of the overdue and unpaid rent, as well as the sale of the tenant’s personal property, for a period of twelve months after the sale. For the tenant’s advantage, save any surplus funds that have been returned as undeliverable.
If the tenant notifies the landlord in writing on or before the date the landlord sells or otherwise disposes of the personal property, the tenant has five days to retrieve the property from the housing unit or place of safekeeping. To reclaim the personal property, the tenant needs only pay the landlord the cost of removal and storage for the time the tenant’s personal property was kept secure by the landlord.
About the Author: Site Producer
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