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Leaving belongings behind in Wisconsin

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Leaving belongings behind in Wisconsin

Postby Buddy69 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:17 pm

We live in Wisconsin. My mother-in-law and father-in-law moved into a house owned by my mother-in-law's brother ten years ago. She passed away soon after and my father-in-law has been living there since. For medical reasons, he moved permanently to a nursing facility a few weeks ago.

My wife and I have depleted what little savings he had by having the house and carpets cleaned and renting dumpsters to haul most of his belongings away. However, there are a few things left that we can't afford to hire someone to haul away: a recliner and refrigerator in the garage and a few pieces of old furniture in the house that no one would want. There are also about twenty cans of old paint and several old computer monitors that would cost us money to throw away and we simply can't afford it.

We've tried our best to clean out everything we could and went above and beyond by having the house and carpets cleaned without any compensation being offered by the owner who is quite wealthy and who is also my wife's uncle but we have not been on good terms for some time. My father-in-law is suffering from senility so we don't know for sure but we doubt that there was a contract signed when they moved in. We also don't think there was any security deposit made. Are we, as family members of the former tenant, legally responsible for removing those items?
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Re: Leaving belongings behind in Wisconsin

Postby TenantNet » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:36 pm

These days many cities have provisions for recycling electronic devices. Look into that. For other things, look into the local sanitation rules. For example, there might be rules on discarding paint. Some of the items you mention are not that large - put them in a car and take them to the town dump or wherever the local rules direct. Or if in a city, they might have local pick-up of large objects.

If you leave things in the house, the owner might claim the cost to dispose of the items against whatever security deposit exists. Most leases call for units to be left "broom clean." OTOH, the owner might not care, or the furniture might be something the owner can use for new tenants.

In the end, it is the tenant of record's responsibility, not yours, if you were just occupants. And of course, if the owner wants to make a fuss, they would consider the cost they would incur to collect from you or the tenant.
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