|December 13, 2012 03:12 PM
|Senator Anthony H. Williams
|All Senate members
|Landlord-Tenant Personal Propery (Act 129)
|In the near future, I will be reintroducing SB 1609 to address a remaining concern regarding tenants’ abandoned personal property and landlord duties.
Act 129 of 2012 addresses landlord responsibilities with respect to the disposition of a tenant’s abandoned personal property when he or she leaves the premises under two circumstances. First, Act 129 speaks to situations in which the tenant has physically vacated the premises, removed substantially all of his or her personal property, and has left behind either a forwarding address or a notice stating that he or she has left the premises. Second, the law addresses cases in which the landlord has obtained an order of possession in favor of the landlord. Unfortunately, Act 129 is silent to one of the most significant issues relating to a tenant’s abandoned personal property: What should a landlord do when a tenant leaves behind personal property and no forwarding address, with no intention of returning to collect these belongings?
My bill would specify a landlord’s obligations when a tenant has physically “vacated, abandoned, and surrendered the premises” without leaving behind a notice or forwarding address. In this case, the landlord must both post a notice on the premises and mail a notice to the tenant outlining his or her rights concerning the abandoned personal property. This notice will indicate that the tenant has 25 days to contact the landlord with his or her intention to remove the remaining property from the premises, and that the landlord must hold this property for an additional 20 days following such contact. Moreover, my bill would hold the landlord liable to the tenant for trespass to recover double the value of the property taken plus court costs, if the landlord accepts a tenant’s personal property without fulfilling his duties under Act 129.
Previous co-sponsors include: WILLIAMS, WASHINGTON, ERICKSON, TARTAGLIONE AND M. WHITE. If you have any questions, please contact my office at 787-5970. Thank you for your consideration.
Introduced as SB48