Did the Landlord of the Isis followers in San Bernardino, CA Just Make a Million Dollar Mistake?
As a property manager you work for the owner. It is your obligation to maintain their rental and keep it rented out. When a major crime happens at one of your managed rentals it is extremely important you do your due diligence to follow all the laws and regulations, keeping in mind you will eventually need to get this home rented out again. The most important aspect of evidence collection and preservation is protecting the crime scene. The police will take charge of all evidence collection and securing the property, but once released back to the owner/landlord at what point do you start your clean up process?
As a property manager the local police department may contact you to assist with entry to the property. It is in your best interested to keep in close contact with the local law enforcement regarding the condition of the home. At this time you should be ready to take notes and ask as many questions as they are willing to answer. You will need to keep in mind the time it may take to get this home back to rental condition.
If a tenant passed away on the property there are specific steps you need to take. DO NOT CONTACT ANY EMERGENCY CONTACT INDIVIDUALS ON YOUR APPLICATION/LEASE UNTIL the police have contacted the family first. Once you have knowledge of the police contacting the family contact the listed emergency individual. At this time there should be three things you need to keep in mind
1. Recapture of the premises, 2. Complying with the abandoned property statue,
3. Complying with the final accounting statue.
If the tenant is a SOLE tenant, meaning they didn’t have a roommate the following individuals have the same rights and responsibilities to the abandoned property; Heir or personal representative named in the will or appointed by the court, or anyone that the tenant has named to the landlord to notify in the event of a tenants death. All of these individuals should be mailed first class property Abandoned Property Forms.
As a property manager once this person provided reasonable evidence relating to the relationship of the deceased, you should allow said person to remove personal property if the person contacts the landlord within the period provided in ORS 90.425.
Here is where the landlord of the San Bernardino, California the Isis related shooters made a huge mistake!! Once the police were done with the home and released it back to the landlord, the landlord opened the home allowing the media and others to roam freely throughout the home. Failure to comply with abandoned property procedures could result in extreme penalties and could release the tenant of liability for unpaid rent and damages. The tenants’ estate could try to recover 2 times the value of the property inside the estate if the property is disposed of in correctly. The landlord at this is time responsible for the items of the home until it has be signed over property as stated in ORS Form 25A. It is very crucial as a landlord you know your laws and how to handle a situation like this.
Asurent Property Management can not give legal advice. For more information on Oregon local laws please contact OEA. For more information on this article go to www.go.CNN.live.com and listen to the live feed. Click Here