If you aren't sure whether a tenant has actually abandoned property, a de termining factor can be whether rent is current. IF RENT IS CURRENT, A L ANDLORD MAY NOT TREAT PROPERTY AS ABANDONED. If rent is not current and the landlord in good faith believes that the tenant has abandoned the pre mises, a landlord who then disposes of a tenant's personal property will not be guilty of violating M.C.L.A. 600.2918(3)(c); M.S.A. 27A.2918(3)(c ), which states that it is an unlawful interference with a tenant's posse ssory interest to remove, retain or destroy the personal property of the possessor.
In the case of an abandoned vehicle (providing rent is not current and yo u believe in good faith that the tenant has actually abandoned the premis es), call a private towing service and have the vehicle towed away.
There is presently no legislation in Michigan which deals specifically wi th the abandonment of personal property by tenants. Abandoned property h as long been a nuisance to local landlords. In the absence of specific l egislative guidelines, we recommend the following:
ASSUMING THE TENANT HAS RELINQUISHED POSSESSION OF THE UNIT, ANY ABANDONE D PROPERTY SHOULD BE HANDLED AND/OR DISPOSED OF ACCORDING TO ITS ESTIMATE D VALUE.
A landlord does not acquire an immediate lien against abandoned property. However, it would be unreasonable to expect a landlord to retain a form er tenant's personal possessions indefinitely. If,
IN FOLLOWING THESE GUIDE- LINES, A LANDLORD SELLS PROPERTY, IT IS REASONABLE FOR THE LANDLORD TO AP PLY THE PROCEEDS TOWARD THE COST OF THE STORAGE AND HANDLING OF THE PROPE RTY OR TOWARD UNPAID RENT.
If a tenant returns to claim property before it is disposed of, the prope rty should be released to the tenant. If the tenant refuses to reimburse you for storage and handling expenses, you can pursue the matter in the small claims division of the appropriate district court.
If a tenant feels that a landlord has wrongfully disposed of the tenant's personal property, the tenant should consult an attorney or pursue the m atter in the small claims division of the appropriate district court.
Original HTML by Timothy Strunk