If you believe the property has been abandoned by the tenant, then you must write a notice (1) to the former tenant(s), (2) to any other person whom you believe may be the owner of the property, (3) deliver the notice to tenant/owner, (4) meet with the tenant/owner, (5) release the property after collecting storage fees for the property.
If the tenant(s)/owner(s) do not respond, then, if you reasonable believe that the property is worth less than $300, you may keep them. If you reasonably believe that the property is worth more than $300, you may hold a public auction after publication and sell the property (you may bid on the property as well).
The format of the notice and its contents are technical Contact me at www. TaslakianLaw.com for details about your situation.
Hope this helps!
Armen Taslakian. 818. 937.3590. www.TaslakianLaw.com. Note: Armen Taslakian is an attorney licensed in the State of California. The answer is provided for informational use only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney/client relationship is created unless an Agreement is signed by the attorney and the client.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs has an excellent guide on what to do when a tenant
leaves behind personal property: