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(a) For the purposes of this section, “abandonment” means the tenant has vacated the dwelling unit without notice to the landlord and does not intend to return, which intention may be evidenced by the combination of the tenant’s removal of substantially all of the tenant’s possessions and personal effects from the dwelling unit plus one (1) of the following: (i) nonpayment of rent for at least two (2) months, (ii) termination of the utilities to the dwelling unit at the request of the tenant, or (iii) an express statement by the tenant to the landlord that the tenant does not intend to occupy the dwelling unit after a specified date.
(b) If the tenant abandons the dwelling unit, the landlord may send notice to the tenant at the tenant’s last-known address both by regular mail, postage prepaid, and by certified mail, return receipt requested, stating that (i) the landlord has reason to believe that the tenant has abandoned the dwelling unit, (ii) the landlord intends to reenter and take possession of the dwelling unit unless the tenant contacts the landlord within ten (10) days of receipt of the notice, (iii) if the tenant does not timely contact the landlord, the landlord intends to remove any possessions and personal effects remaining in the dwelling unit and to re-rent the premises, and (iv) if the tenant does not reclaim such possessions and personal effects within thirty (30) days after the notice, the landlord will dispose of them as permitted by this section. The notice shall be in clear and simple language and shall include a telephone number and a mailing address at which the landlord can be contacted. If the notice is returned as undeliverable, or the tenant fails to contact the landlord within ten (10) days of the receipt of the notice, the landlord may reenter and take possession of the dwelling unit, at which time any rental agreement or lease still in effect shall be deemed to be terminated.
(c) The landlord shall not be required to serve a notice to vacate as provided in RC 1923.04 or to bring a forcibly entry and detainer action as provided in RC Chapter 1923 to obtain possession or occupancy of a dwelling unit that, according to the provisions of this section, the tenant has abandoned. Nothing in this section shall relieve a landlord from complying with the provisions of RC Chapters 1923 and 5321, if the landlord knows, or reasonably should know, that the tenant has not abandoned the dwelling unit.
(d) The landlord shall inventory any possessions and personal effects of the tenant that are in the dwelling unit and shall remove and keep them for not less than thirty (30) days. The tenant may reclaim such possessions and personal effects from the landlord within that thirty (30) day period. If the tenant does not reclaim such possessions and personal effects by the end of that thirty (30) day period, the landlord may dispose of them as the landlord deems appropriate.
(e) No action shall be brought under RC 5321.15 against a landlord who takes action in compliance with the provisions of this section.
(Ord. No. 1844-A-99. Passed 7-18-01, eff. 7-26-01)