For commercial property owners in California, the recent amendment of California Civil Code Sections 1993.04 and 1993.07 is a welcome development. The problem surrounding tenants who vacate commercial properties and leave substantial personal property behind has long been a source of aggravation for landlords.

Under the new laws, the threshold for keeping, selling, or destroying abandoned personal property after proper service of a Notice of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property has been increased to either $2,500 or an amount equal to one month’s rent, whichever is greater. The prior law allowed the landlord to exercise those remedies only in the event that the value of the personal property was less than the lesser of $750 or $1 per square foot.

The increased threshold values should immediately benefit commercial landlords with increased flexibility to keep, sell, or destroy the departing tenant’s personal property and to avoid the otherwise required storage and public sale requirements.

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