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Tenant moved out in May but left property behind, can I charge a storage fee?

Friendswood, TX |

Back in May a tenant moved out and never removed their belongings. I am set to send a certified letter requesting that the tenant remove their belongings within thirty days of receipt, can I charge a storage fee for the time I have kept their property?

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Attorney answers 1


First, refer to your lease agreement and the provisions regarding Landlord's Lien, Abandonment or Termination. If your Lease does not provide a remedy and it does not prohibit such, you probably have a Landlord's Lien right under the Texas Property Code. The provisions are too cumbersome to fully repeat here, but under your lease (if it is addressed) and otherwise under Texas Law, once the lease is properly terminated and the time periods have lapsed, you have a right to sell the Tenant's property to cover your losses. Your losses probably include your expense in storing their belongings either within the leased property or at a storage unit. The rules can be tricky, so I think you should consult with an attorney before moving forward.