You can write tenant in prison. Tell tenant that you need written instructions as to what to do with his items. Get the written instructions. You can't withhold items until tenant makes payment, but you can sue tenant in small claims court and get a judgment.
Actively practicing law in Texas. Inactive licenses in Arizona and Georgia. All answers are general in nature and no attorney/client relationship exists in this forum.
First step. Obtain possession of your rental. I would recommend a notice of belief of abandonment instead of a 3 day pay or quit. The rules concerning the property once you obtain possession are both twisted and convoluted, even for attorneys who are familiar with the process. I agree with Frisco that a written agreement as to the disposition of the property is in your best interest. Talk to an experienced attorney in your area.
A proper response would require a thorough investigation into the history and background of this relationship. The information provided above is just that, information, to be used as you see fit.