Tenants left back their belongings


My tenant's lease was up and when he moved, he left a ton of stuff in the basement and garage, too much for the alley will cost several hundred to have removed. He told me basically, it's not his stuff and he's not coming back. I have photo's, there are literally boxes with his name on the shipping labels. I texted and emailed him, told him to get his stuff, then I sent a notice that I would hold his belongings for 7 days, via certified mail. Illinois law states I must keep it for 7 days.

I have called this junk removal company to get rid of those stuffs. My question is, aside from the junk removal fee, can I deduct storage fees or holdover rent from the deposit?

  7 answers
  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Dec 31, 2019

    sorry we can't help you with this type problem - you need to go by your state or county laws which we know nothing about

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Dec 31, 2019

    Hi Cindy,

    Tenants can create a whole bunch of problems for landlords, there are variables in your case which would probably be best settled in a small claims court, that would set the legal enforceable precedent. Do your self a favor and document your tail off. Hopefully you have pictures before and after the tenant, make sure you have crisp clear evidence (name on the boxes). Keep accurate records of emails, communications, date moved in and out, receipts for payment of rent, late fees, etc. Be very sure you are right on the mark, nothing vague. This is what will make your case, otherwise it is your word against your tenant's. Do you have documented evidence you gave permission to store stuff? Best to you.

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Dec 31, 2019

    Every state has its own laws for tenant/landlord issues. Junk removal fees should include any labor required to remove it. As for rent, usually it can't be considered occupied unless there's food and a place to sleep. Check your local area for a landlord hotline or university extension phone number that allows you to get guidance specific to your area.

  • Pamela Pamela on Dec 31, 2019

    Hi ! Each state and or county has their own rules and regulations , you will need to talk to someone that deals with tenants rights in your county . Good luck !

  • Libbie B Libbie B on Dec 31, 2019

    Check your state laws but in Michigan we are able hold the cost for removal as well as the fee's to clean it up. We were also able to charge for our time to make the arrangements. (It's happened to us a few times) We keep all photos as evidence. Good Luck!

  • Tinyshoes Tinyshoes on Dec 31, 2019

    Cindy....If you have researched your states rental laws and have a clear understanding... made pictures of items left with labels, have an idea of what removal will cost and notified him properly it can be deducted from his deposit. It is also costing you time to even be able to clean and find another renter. If you are unsure I would check with another landlord and ask questions because you want everything done properly. Calling an attorney may cost but that also might be deducted from deposit. This is so unfair and each state is different but I personally think you have a good case and you deserve better! Let us know how it comes out for you. Good luck!

  • Natalie Natalie on Dec 31, 2019

    What a rotten situation. Definitely make sure you document it and contact local agencies to find out what your laws are. Goodluck!