3.4 Abandonment of tenant’s personal property

Once the landlord has lawfully re-entered the leased property, the landlord has the right to begin the process of taking possession of all personal property left on the premises by the tenant. W.Va. Code §37-6-6(c).

To gain possession, the landlord is obligated to give written notice to the tenant that must be: W.Va. Code §37-6-6(c).

1. Posted in a conspicuous place on the property and

2. Sent by first class mail with a certificate of mailing, which provides a receipt of the date of mailing, in an envelope endorsed “please forward”, addressed and mailed to the tenant at the leased property, any post office box held by the tenant and known to the landlord, and the most recent forwarding address if provided by the tenant or known to the landlord.

The notice must state that the leased property is considered abandoned and that any personal property left by the tenant must be removed by a date specified within the written notice that is not less than thirty days after the date the written notice was mailed, or not less than 60 days if the landlord knows the tenant is on active duty in the United States military. W.Va. Code §37-6-6(d).

If the personal property is not removed within the time stated in the written notice, then the tenant loses all ownership interest and the personal property becomes the property of the landlord. W.Va. Code §37-6-6(d)(3).

If the personal property is worth more than three hundred dollars ($300.00) and was not removed within the time period specified in the notice letter, the landlord must store the property for up to thirty additional days if the tenant, or other person with an ownership interest in the personal property, notifies the landlord of intention to remove the property. The tenant may be responsible for paying the reasonable costs of storage and removal. W.Va. Code §37-6-6(e).

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