Removing dead cars
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Removing dead cars (by gevans [SC]) Jan 27, 2023 8:20 AM
       Removing dead cars (by Frank [NJ]) Jan 27, 2023 8:29 AM
       Removing dead cars (by Ken [NY]) Jan 27, 2023 8:33 AM
       Removing dead cars (by Still Learning [NH]) Jan 27, 2023 10:31 AM
       Removing dead cars (by S i d [MO]) Jan 27, 2023 10:46 AM
       Removing dead cars (by Vee [OH]) Jan 27, 2023 1:53 PM
       Removing dead cars (by Hoosier [IN]) Jan 27, 2023 1:53 PM
       Removing dead cars (by don [PA]) Jan 27, 2023 4:34 PM
       Removing dead cars (by Deanna [TX]) Jan 27, 2023 6:57 PM
       Removing dead cars (by Mike45 [NV]) Jan 27, 2023 8:19 PM
       Removing dead cars (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jan 28, 2023 1:24 AM
       Removing dead cars (by gevans [SC]) Jan 29, 2023 3:47 PM
       Removing dead cars (by gevans [SC]) Jan 30, 2023 9:52 PM

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Removing dead cars (by gevans [SC]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 8:20 AM

Interesting situation: tenant in poor health died in unit. Wife (separated) claimed all his stuff EXCEPT two dead cars. She drove the running one away and says she will be back for the others, but I'm not believing it at this point. What can I do with them?

Normally I'd call a tow truck and have them impounded for $XX/day and just let her deal with it. I'm trying to have compassion due to the death.

What say ye?


Removing dead cars (by Frank [NJ]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 8:29 AM

Certified mail with a demand for removal and include a firm deadline for removal with monetary penalty if not done.

You do have security deposit $, no?

Removing dead cars (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 8:33 AM

I would sell them to a scrapper,there are guys who will pay $300-$400 depending on weight and they dont care about keys or title. I usually sell 1 or 2 a year that are abandoned at foreclosures i buy. --74.77.xx.xx

Removing dead cars (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 10:31 AM

I have outgoing tenants sign a relinquishment of possession (not sure how that works with a death) which says anything they left behind I am authorized to dispose of and they understand they are responsible for any costs incurred. --166.198.xx.xx

Removing dead cars (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 10:46 AM

Not enough info...

Was wife on the lease? Is the rent paid?

What are your state laws on abandoned property?

What are you local municipal codes on dead/untagged cars?

I'm assuming that wife is not on the lease and/or lease is not paid up. My state says after 30 days unpaid rent and no indication to return for property, I can declare it abandoned and keep, sell, or toss anything that remains. HOWEVER, I don't think that applies to "titled" property such as a car, trailers, etc. I've never had to deal with that, so I haven't researched it. I only bring this up because there are nuances to every scenarios. Cars/trailers, etc are included on our personal property taxes, but they sort of have a life of their own in a way due to titles of ownership.

Also, Missouri law would not let me get rid of the vehicles at this point, because as you stated, the wife indicated to you she is returning to get the items.

My municipal code says cars cannot be parked outside unless they have tags and are in running condition. I have had to deal with several of these in the past. The process is I call the police to come tag the car. Whoever owns it then has 48 hours to move it. Once that time passes, I can call a tow company who will come and tow. There is no charge to me, but I don't get any money either.

Basically, there's no legal way I'm aware of to seize the vehicle and sell it. I'd have to obtain a money judgment in court and then file a lien against the car title. For these junkers, it's not worth it.


Removing dead cars (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 1:53 PM

What is useful is dismantling and selling parts like air cond pump, alternator, dash and door trim, other motor parts - once you get this far word travels. My daughter does some listing on craigslist then shows them after she gets kids from school, the grandkids relate this to visiting a drive-in movie, a milkshake shared between them and french fries while the guy buys/removes the part he wants, I hear later they got something from the store with the money from that rusty old car at the orange house and they want to go again.

Removing dead cars (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 1:53 PM

Your state law will spell out how long you have to store personal items...and I'd see this fitting in that category.

However, a couple ideas. See if you can get in writing from the spouse an exact date...push for one and state it and get her to agree if you can. Then set consequences after that...for example:

"Mary, you agreed to have the cars gone by February 4th. I need to re-rent and those cars must be gone. If not gone by that date, I'll need to tow them and you'll be responsible for the towing bills."

Another idea...modify your lease to have a clause that asks the tenant to identify/list two "key contacts" and get their name, phone, address, etc. Have a paragraph below that says that "tenant agrees by signing this lease that any personal items left after tenancy ends may be delivered to these key contacts if no forwarding address is given and that any delivery costs will be the responsibility of the tenant". Then have the cars towed to the front of that address or the forwarding address of the tenant if you have it and charge them for it out of the SD or sue them in small claims to get the money back.

Removing dead cars (by don [PA]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 4:34 PM

What do you mean that the wife "claimed" his stuff? Did she open up the estate? If so, send a demand letter to the estate to remove the cars and also a storage bill. If there was no estate opened, you should not have given her anything.

Removing dead cars (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 6:57 PM

In my lease agreement, it specifies that I have a landlord's lien on all non-exempt property. Elsewhere, it also specifies that I may dispose of abandoned property in any way I see fit. And elsewhere, it defines abandonment either as (circumstances x y and z) or (death of the sole tenant).

So for me, I would go to my local police department, fill out a form saying that there's a vehicle abandoned at my property, and then wait the specified period of time. Then it becomes mine, and I can sell it to a local guy with a tow truck, who will tow it away and sell it/scrap it/do whatever with it.

Each of those elements was added after an incident where those elements would have been really, really useful to have spelled out and agreed to. :) So I made sure to incorporate them in future versions of the lease, so that I would limit myself to only one version of a particular anecdote. :)

Fortunately, I've never had to go as far as filing the form with the PD... but I was about to that afternoon if they didn't finally come get their 40yo truck out of my driveway after a week of promises that so-and-so would totally come fetch it...

Whether that works in SC is a different question, but it flies okay in TX. I'm sorry for the loss of your tenant, and sorry that the wife is taking advantage of your compassion.

Removing dead cars (by Mike45 [NV]) Posted on: Jan 27, 2023 8:19 PM

A friend has towed dead cars from his houses onto the street and left the dead cars for the city to tow away and dispose of. I've called scrappers to tow away from my property, without my receiving any compensation.

Removing dead cars (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 1:24 AM


Best advice I got from a wise police officer 40 years ago - "Never mess with someone's vehicle. They will shoot you."

Cars can be highly sentimental items.

How long since the death?

How ugly are the cars? How bad the condition? Worth anything?

Where are they parked - in the garage? back at the alley?

I would work with her because it is to MY benefit for her to remove them.

I would set a firm deadline, in writing. I like to text because I usually get a response which proves what she said.

I would offer to call the scrap yard for her but I need the titles to do that.

In MY book the home is still rented as long as personal property is still on it.

OR...tow them to the atty's office and let him/her deal with them!


Removing dead cars (by gevans [SC]) Posted on: Jan 29, 2023 3:47 PM

Thanks to all.

This is a rural property in SC. Cars are parked in the outdoors, next to the gravel drive. Neither is worth much. I'm giving her a firm deadline tomorrow. I can have my local tow guy haul them to his storage yard and charge her by the day. Typically when that happens the storage exceeds the value of the car in a month or two. Then the tow truck driver can either haul to the scrap yard or file for ownership. Or just sell parts off it. One way or another, they are gone this week. thanks --69.80.xx.xx

Removing dead cars (by gevans [SC]) Posted on: Jan 30, 2023 9:52 PM

Cars departed today, less than one hour before I showed the house. She finally got the probate judge to sign them over to her. Less than 60 days from death, so that was actually pretty fast.

Everyone is relatively happy. --69.80.xx.xx

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