A good lease should cover what happens to tenant's abandoned property


If the lease does not cover what happens to tenant's abandoned property, the landlord may have to go to court to remove the property from the abandoned premises.


Attorney Tom Olsen: Now, Rob, when you talk about a good lease for a landlord, it reminds me of something. That is abandoned property, meaning the tenants have moved out, they've been evicted or otherwise, have left things behind. That can be a real problem for landlords, as far as what they're legal obligations are to do with that stuff.

Attorney Rob Solomon: This is the old, smelly couch problem, which is the tenant moves and takes everything with them but leaves the couch. I get calls frequently, what am I suppose to do with this couch? It's a surprisingly thorny legal problem, but for the fact that our legislator, five or six years ago, squared off on this issue, wrote into the statute language that you can put in a lease that solves this problem.

It has to be in capitals, you have to use the magic language that they've given you. What it effectively does, in the lease, is say when you move out, if you leave something, I, as landlord, own it. I can sell it, I can give it away, I can take it home and use the smelly couch in my own living room if I want to. I can do whatever I want with it. That language solves a plentitude of problems that would otherwise exist. If that's not in your lease, your lease is lacking an important part that would save you a lot of time and energy later on.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Thank you, Rob.