If your tenant abandons your rental what happens next? The first thing you need to do is determine if the property has truly been abandoned. Evidence of abandonment can include the return of keys, the substantial removal of the tenant’s personal property, actual notice by the tenant, or the tenant’s absence with unpaid rent. Once abandonment is determined the landlord is obligated to make reasonable attempts to mitigate the financial damages incurred by losing the tenant through re-renting the property at a fair market value.

Property left behind

Once it’s determined that a property has indeed been abandoned, the next step is to deal with any personal property of the tenant remaining on the premises. And, how to deal with the property depends on the estimated value of the property.

  • $500 or Less: Per SDCL § 43-32-25, any property left on the premises after ten days is presumed to have been abandoned and the landlord can dispose of the property.
  • Greater than $500: Per SDCL § 43-32-26, the property must be stored by the landlord, and the landlord has a lien on the property to the extent of the costs of handling and storing the property. After storing the property for thirty days or more, the landlord may treat the property as abandoned and dispose of it.