Your tenant may abandon your rental property at some point. Whether it’s because the tenant wanted to move out before the lease was up or the tenant was trying to skip after not paying rent, abandonment is usually a bit of work for the landlord. In any case, make sure to review your lease agreement to make sure you comply with the law regarding how to manage through the abandonment process. The state of Kansas has a few stipulations written into the statutes about handling abandonment in residential lease situations.

The main concerns surrounding an abandonment are confirming that the tenant has abandoned the rental and making an effort to find a new renter. In Kansas a property can be considered abandoned if after 10 days of rent being unpaid the tenant has removed a substantial amount of their personal belongings. If this is the case, then it’s time to try to find another renter. The rental agreement with the previous renter (the one who abandoned) is considered terminated once the new tenancy with a new tenant begins. If the landlord doesn’t use reasonable efforts to get a new tenant, or if the landlord considers the abandonment a surrender of the premises, then the old rental agreement terminates whenever the landlord becomes aware of the abandonment.

What to do with personal property

Dealing with personal property of the tenant’s that has been left behind will be a bit of work for the landlord. If there is personal property left behind the landlord must wait 30 days before disposing of it or selling the property. During that time, the tenant can retrieve the property, but they need to reimburse the landlord for any storage costs or costs associated with removing the property and handling it. The tenant would also need to pay for any rent owed.

If the landlord decides to sell the property there are a few details to comply with:

  • At least 15 days prior to a sale, publish once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the property is located, a notice of sale or disposal.
  • Within 7 days after publication, mail a copy of the published notice to the tenant at their last known address. Include the tenant’s name, a brief description of the property, and the date or approximate date for the sale or disposal.
  • Sale proceeds should be applied in the following order: (1) to the reasonable expenses of taking, holding, preparing for sale or disposition, giving notice and selling or disposing, (2) reimbursement for rent or amounts owed by tenant, (3) balance can be retained by landlord, unless a secured creditor provided notice of their interest in the proceeds of a sale.