2009 California Civil Code - Section 1980-1991 :: Chapter 5. Disposition Of Personal Property Remaining On Premises At Termination Of Tenancy

CIVIL CODE
SECTION 1980-1991

1980.  As used in this chapter:
   (a) "Landlord" means any operator, keeper, lessor, or sublessor of
any furnished or unfurnished premises for hire, or his or her agent
or successor in interest.
   (b) "Owner" means any person other than the landlord who has any
right, title, or interest in personal property.
   (c) "Premises" includes any common areas associated therewith.
   (d) "Reasonable belief" means the actual knowledge or belief a
prudent person would have without making an investigation (including
any investigation of public records) except that, where the landlord
has specific information indicating that such an investigation would
more probably than not reveal pertinent information and the cost of
such an investigation would be reasonable in relation to the probable
value of the personal property involved, "reasonable belief"
includes the actual knowledge or belief a prudent person would have
if such an investigation were made.
   (e) "Records" means any material, regardless of the physical form,
on which information is recorded or preserved by any means,
including in written or spoken words, graphically depicted, printed,
or electromagnetically transmitted. "Records" does not include
publicly available directories containing information an individual
has voluntarily consented to have publicly disseminated or listed,
such as name, address, or telephone number.
   (f) "Tenant" includes any paying guest, lessee, or sublessee of
any premises for hire.

1980.5.  Except as provided in Section 1993.01, the provisions of
this chapter shall not apply to commercial real property, as defined
in subdivision (d) of Section 1954.26. For purposes of this section,
commercial real property shall not include self-storage units.

1981.  (a) This chapter provides an optional procedure for the
disposition of personal property that remains on the premises after a
tenancy has terminated and the premises have been vacated by the
tenant.
   (b) This chapter does not apply whenever Section 1862.5, 2080.8,
2080.9, or 2081 to 2081.6, inclusive, applies. This chapter does not
apply to property that exists for the purpose of providing utility
services and is owned by a public utility, whether or not that
property is actually in operation to provide those utility services.
   (c) This chapter does not apply to any manufactured home as
defined in Section 18007 of the Health and Safety Code, any
mobilehome as defined in Section 18008 of the Health and Safety Code,
or to any commercial coach as defined in Section 18001.8 of the
Health and Safety Code, including attachments thereto or contents
thereof, whether or not the manufactured home, mobilehome, or
commercial coach is subject to registration under the Health and
Safety Code.
   (d) This chapter does not apply to the disposition of an animal to
which subdivision (d) of Section 1815 or Chapter 7 (commencing with
Section 17001) of Part 1 of Division 9 of the Food and Agricultural
Code applies, and those animals shall be disposed of in accordance
with those provisions.
   (e) If the requirements of this chapter are not satisfied, nothing
in this chapter affects the rights and liabilities of the landlord,
former tenant, or any other person.

1982.  (a) Personal property which the landlord reasonably believes
to have been lost shall be disposed of pursuant to Article 1
(commencing with Section 2080) of Chapter 4 of Title 6. The landlord
is not liable to the owner of the property if he complies with this
subdivision.
   (b) If the appropriate police or sheriff's department refuses to
accept property pursuant to subdivision (a), the landlord may dispose
of the property pursuant to this chapter.

1983.  (a) Where personal property remains on the premises after a
tenancy has terminated and the premises have been vacated by the
tenant, the landlord shall give written notice to the tenant and to
any other person the landlord reasonably believes to be the owner of
the property. If the property consists of records, the tenant shall
be presumed to be the owner of the records for the purposes of this
chapter.
   (b) The notice shall describe the property in a manner reasonably
adequate to permit the owner of the property to identify it. The
notice may describe all or a portion of the property, but the
limitation of liability provided by Section 1989 does not protect the
landlord from any liability arising from the disposition of property
not described in the notice except that a trunk, valise, box, or
other container which is locked, fastened, or tied in a manner which
deters immediate access to its contents may be described as such
without describing its contents. The notice shall advise the person
to be notified that reasonable costs of storage may be charged before
the property is returned, where the property may be claimed, and the
date before which the claim must be made. The date specified in the
notice shall be a date not less than 15 days after the notice is
personally delivered or, if mailed, not less than 18 days after the
notice is deposited in the mail.
   (c) The notice shall be personally delivered to the person to be
notified or sent by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the person
to be notified at his or her last known address and, if there is
reason to believe that the notice sent to that address will not be
received by that person, also to any other address known to the
landlord where the person may reasonably be expected to receive the
notice. If the notice is sent by mail to the former tenant, one copy
shall be sent to the premises vacated by the tenant.

1984.  (a) A notice given to the former tenant which is in
substantially the following form satisfies the requirements of
Section 1983:
Notice of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property
To:
___________________________________________________________________
(Name of former tenant)
___________________________________________________________________
(Address of former tenant)
When you vacated the premises at _________________________________

______________________________________________________________________
__
(Address of premises, including room or apartment number, if any)
the following personal property remained:
______________________________________________________________________
__
(Insert description of the personal property)
You may claim this property at
_______________________________________.
(Address where property may be claimed)
Unless you pay the reasonable cost of storage for all the above-
described property, and take possession of the property which you
claim, not later than _______ (insert date not less than 15 days
after
notice is personally delivered or, if mailed, not less than 18 days
after notice is deposited in the mail) this property may be disposed
of pursuant to Civil Code Section 1988.
(Insert here the statement required by subdivision (b) of this
section)
Dated: ________________ __________________________________________
(Signature of landlord)
__________________________________________
(Type or print name of landlord)
__________________________________________
(Telephone number)
__________________________________________
(Address)

   (b) The notice set forth in subdivision (a) shall also contain one
of the following statements:
   (1) "If you fail to reclaim the property, it will be sold at a
public sale after notice of the sale has been given by publication.
You have the right to bid on the property at this sale. After the
property is sold and the cost of storage, advertising, and sale is
deducted, the remaining money will be paid over to the county. You
may claim the remaining money at any time within one year after the
county receives the money."
   (2) "Because this property is believed to be worth less than $300,
it may be kept, sold, or destroyed without further notice if you
fail to reclaim it within the time indicated above."

1985.  A notice which is in substantially the following form given
to a person (other than the former tenant) the landlord reasonably
believes to be the owner of personal property satisfies the
requirements of Section 1983:
Notice of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property
To:
__________________________________________________________________
(Name)
__________________________________________________________________
(Address)
When _____________________________________ vacated the premises at
(name of former tenant)

_____________________________________________________________________,
,
(address of premises, including room or apartment number, if any)
the following personal property remained:
______________________________________________________________________
_
(insert description of the personal property)
If you own any of this property, you may claim it at
_______________________________________. Unless you pay the
reasonable
(address where property may be claimed)
cost of storage and take possession of the property to which you are
entitled not later than ___________________ (insert date not less
than
15 days after notice is personally delivered or, if mailed, not less
than 18 days after notice is deposited in the mail) this property
may
be disposed of pursuant to Civil Code Section 1988.
Dated: ________________ _________________________________________
(Signature of landlord)
_________________________________________
(Type or print name of landlord)
_________________________________________
(Telephone number)
_________________________________________
(Address)

1986.  The personal property described in the notice shall either be
left on the vacated premises or be stored by the landlord in a place
of safekeeping until the landlord either releases the property
pursuant to Section 1987 or disposes of the property pursuant to
Section 1988. The landlord shall exercise reasonable care in storing
the property, but he is not liable to the tenant or any other owner
for any loss not caused by his deliberate or negligent act.

1987.  (a) The personal property described in the notice shall be
released by the landlord to the former tenant or, at the landlord's
option, to any person reasonably believed by the landlord to be its
owner if such tenant or other person pays the reasonable cost of
storage and takes possession of the property not later than the date
specified in the notice for taking possession.
   (b) Where personal property is not released pursuant to
subdivision (a) and the notice stated that the personal property
would be sold at a public sale, the landlord shall release the
personal property to the former tenant if he claims it prior to the
time it is sold and pays the reasonable cost of storage, advertising,
and sale incurred prior to the time the property is withdrawn from
sale.

1988.  (a) If the personal property described in the notice is not
released pursuant to Section 1987, it shall be sold at public sale by
competitive bidding. However, if the landlord reasonably believes
that the total resale value of the property not released is less than
three hundred dollars ($300), the landlord may retain such property
for his or her own use or dispose of it in any manner. Nothing in
this section shall be construed to preclude the landlord or tenant
from bidding on the property at the public sale.
   (b) Notice of the time and place of the public sale shall be given
by publication pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code in a
newspaper of general circulation published in the county where the
sale is to be held. The last publication shall be not less than five
days before the sale is to be held. The notice of the sale shall not
be published before the last of the dates specified for taking
possession of the property in any notice given pursuant to Section
1983. The notice of the sale shall describe the property to be sold
in a manner reasonably adequate to permit the owner of the property
to identify it. The notice may describe all or a portion of the
property, but the limitation of liability provided by Section 1989
does not protect the landlord from any liability arising from the
disposition of property not described in the notice, except that a
trunk, valise, box, or other container which is locked, fastened, or
tied in a manner which deters immediate access to its contents may be
described as such without describing its contents.
   (c) After deduction of the costs of storage, advertising, and
sale, any balance of the proceeds of the sale which is not claimed by
the former tenant or an owner other than such tenant shall be paid
into the treasury of the county in which the sale took place not
later than 30 days after the date of sale. The former tenant or other
owner may claim the balance within one year from the date of payment
to the county by making application to the county treasurer or other
official designated by the county. If the county pays the balance or
any part thereof to a claimant, neither the county nor any officer
or employee thereof is liable to any other claimant as to the amount
paid.

1989.  (a) Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 1981, where
the landlord releases to the former tenant property which remains on
the premises after a tenancy is terminated, the landlord is not
liable with respect to that property to any person.
   (b) Where the landlord releases property pursuant to Section 1987
to a person (other than the former tenant) reasonably believed by the
landlord to be the owner of the property, the landlord is not liable
with respect to that property to:
   (1) Any person to whom notice was given pursuant to Section 1983;
or
   (2) Any person to whom notice was not given pursuant to Section
1983 unless such person proves that, prior to releasing the property,
the landlord believed or reasonably should have believed that such
person had an interest in the property and also that the landlord
knew or should have known upon reasonable investigation the address
of such person.
   (c) Where property is disposed of pursuant to Section 1988, the
landlord is not liable with respect to that property to:
   (1) Any person to whom notice was given pursuant to Section 1983;
or
   (2) Any person to whom notice was not given pursuant to Section
1983 unless such person proves that, prior to disposing of the
property pursuant to Section 1988, the landlord believed or
reasonably should have believed that such person had an interest in
the property and also that the landlord knew or should have known
upon reasonable investigation the address of such person.

1990.  (a) Costs of storage which may be required to be paid under
this chapter shall be assessed in the following manner:
   (1) Where a former tenant claims property pursuant to Section
1987, he may be required to pay the reasonable costs of storage for
all the personal property remaining on the premises at the
termination of the tenancy which are unpaid at the time the claim is
made.
   (2) Where an owner other than the former tenant claims property
pursuant to Section 1987, he may be required to pay the reasonable
costs of storage for only the property in which he claims an
interest.
   (b) In determining the costs to be assessed under subdivision (a),
the landlord shall not charge more than one person for the same
costs.
   (c) If the landlord stores the personal property on the premises,
the cost of storage shall be the fair rental value of the space
reasonably required for such storage for the term of the storage.

1991.  Where a notice of belief of abandonment is given to a lessee
pursuant to Section 1951.3, the notice to the former tenant given
pursuant to Section 1983 may, but need not, be given at the same time
as the notice of belief of abandonment even though the tenancy is
not terminated until the end of the period specified in the notice of
belief of abandonment. If the notices are so given, the notices may,
but need not, be combined in one notice that contains all the
information required by the sections under which the notices are
given.

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