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The following types of property are exempt and cannot be taken by the landlord under any circumstance, unless the property was abandoned:

  • 1.

    Clothing;

  • 2.

    Tools, equipment, and books of the tenant's trade;

  • 3.

    School books;

  • 4.

    One automobile and one truck;

  • 5.

    Family portraits and pictures and the family library;

  • 6.

    One couch, two living room chairs, one dining table and chairs;

  • 7.

    All beds and bedding;

  • 8.

    All kitchen furniture and utensils, including a tenant's deep-freeze and microwave;

  • 9.

    Food and foodstuffs;

  • 10.

    Medicine and medical supplies;

  • 11.

    Anything the landlord knows belongs to someone else not living in the leased premises;

  • 12.

    Anything the landlord knows was purchased on a recorded credit arrangement that has not yet been paid for;

  • 13.

    All agricultural implements; and

  • 14.

    Children's toys not used by adults.

The landlord must give you at least 30 days advance notice of the sale by certified and regular mail to your last known mailing address; indicate the time, date, and place of the sale; and provide an itemized account of the rent owed and the name of the person to contact for information. You are allowed to redeem the property prior to the sale if you pay the rent owed and the reasonable packing, moving and storage charges (if these charges are also specified in the lease). At the sale, the property is sold to the highest cash bidder. It is usually a good idea to go to the sale to make sure it is done properly. You are allowed to go to the sale and purchase your own property. The landlord must take the money she receives from the sale and apply it to the rental account. As the tenant, you are entitled to any remainder. The landlord must give you an accounting within 30 days of your request.

If the landlord willfully violates this law, you may recover the greater of one month's rent or $500, return of any property not sold or pro- ceeds from the sale, plus actual damages, and reasonable attorney's fees, less any past due rent. If the sale was conducted improperly, you may also have a claim against the landlord for a violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices - Consumer Protection Act. Contact an attorney or a tenant association for more details.

Personal Property of Deceased enant Unless your lease specifically provides otherwise during the term of your lease, your landlord can ask you to provide the name, address, and telephone number of a person to contact upon your death, and a signed statement authorizing that person to access your unit in the presence of a landlord representative and remove your personal property. If your landlord does not request this information, you can volunteer it at any time. See also "Security Deposits."

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