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Moved Out and Left Items? How to Get Back Your Belongings After Being Evicted or Moving Out.

Authored By: Neighborhood Legal Services Association
Contents

HAVE YOU MOVED FROM A RENTAL PROPERTY?

If you have recently moved or been evicted from a rental property, you are able to retrieve items you left behind for a limited time according to a new Pennsylvania Law, Act 129 of 2012, 68 P.S. § 250.505a.

THE FACTS ABOUT THE LAW:

HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE AND WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

  • If you are evicted or move out of a rental property, you have TEN (10) DAYS to contact your landlord and let your landlord know you intend to retrieve your personal property left behind.
     
  • You should notify your landlord of your intent to retrieve any personal property left behind by calling your landlord and by sending your landlord a letter.
    REMEMBER: Keep a copy of the letter you send to your landlord for your records.
     
  • After you contact your landlord stating that you want to get your belongings, you have THIRTY (30) DAYS from the day you were evicted or from the postmarked date of your landlords notice to you to retrieve your stuff.

BEWARE OF CHARGES: After TEN (10) DAYS from the day you were evicted or from the postmarked date of your landlords notice to you, your landlord can charge you a fee for storing your items.
 

IF YOU MOVE AND LEAVE ITEMS BEHIND, YOUR LANDLORD MUST SEND YOU NOTICE TELLING YOU THAT YOU LEFT ITEMS BEHIND.

  • After you move out and provide your landlord with a forwarding address, your landlord must send you written notice that you left personal property behind in the rental unit.
     
  • But if you are evicted, your landlord DOES NOT have to send you notice that you left items behind! You must know to contact him on your own.
     
  • DON’T FORGET TO GIVE YOUR LANDLORD YOUR NEW ADDRESS, or else your landlord just has to send the notice to your old address.
     

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT NOTIFY THE LANDLORD THAT I WANT MY PERSONAL PROPERTY BACK?

  • If you have NOT contacted the landlord within TEN 10 DAYS of being evicted or receiving the notice from the landlord that you left items behind, then the landlord may dispose of the items.
     

SUMMARY

A recent Pennsylvania Law, Act 129 of 2012, established new rules for a tenant trying to retrieve personal belongings if items are left at a rental property.

If you have been evicted or moved from a rental property, you are still able to retrieve your belongings that were left behind, but only for a very limited time.

The new law gives tenants 10 days from the date of eviction, or the date the landlord sends notice that items were left behind, to contact the landlord about retrieving any personal property. The tenant then has 30 days to retrieve any personal property left behind.

If the tenant fails to contact the landlord within the first 10 days, then the landlord can dispose of all the personal property.

REMEMBER

The law often changes. Each case is different This pamphlet is meant to give you general information and not to give you specific legal advice. Please use the information found in this brochure carefully since the law is constantly changing.

Revised August 2014

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