Rent it Right
These tenants have had time to gather their possessions, and if they fail to take them all, there's some element of "you had the chance, now we'll give you just one or two more." But a tenant who is the subject of a protective order, even one that he has had a chance to oppose, may not have a chance to pack up.
In this sense, an "abandoned property" scheme may not apply to him. But on the other hand, you hardly want to give your ex-tenant an invitation to come get his stuff when you've just served him with an order to stay away.
You'd be best served by talking with a local lawyer, who is familiar with your state's abandoned property law and can advise you on your rather unusual situation. Your lawyer might consult with the police and even the judge who issued the order.
There has to be a way for your tenant to get access to his property without putting you face to face with him; and if he doesn't respond, you'll need to be assured that there's a proper and legal way to dispose of his property.
Janet Portman is an attorney and managing editor at Nolo. She specializes in landlord/tenant law and is co-author of "Every Landlord's Legal Guide" and "Every Tenant's Legal Guide." She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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