Usually, your landlord stores your things in the unit or nearby in a storage area or basement. The landlord must give or mail to you a written notice of abandoned property that asks you to pick up your things. This notice must tell you if the landlord thinks that the value of the property you left is under $500 and he or she plans to throw it away if you don’t pick it up. This notice must be sent to the address where you rented from that landlord, any post office box that you have that the landlord knows about, and to your most recent forwarding address. You will have 5 days to respond to the notice if it was handed to you and 8 days to respond if the notice was mailed to you. You can respond verbally (for example, by phone) or in writing. You must contact the landlord during the 5 or 8 day period and you must pick up your things no longer than 15 days after that or your landlord will dispose of them. ORS 90.425.
Take everything with you when you leave if you can. If you cannot, at least box your things to avoid breakage and loss. Ask your landlord if you can move your boxes into the basement or other storage area to reduce the landlord’s work and the chance of breakage. Give the landlord a forwarding address. Tell the landlord when you will return to pick up your things.
Sometimes a landlord will pay the sheriff to have your things removed by a moving company. If this happens, you must file a Challenge to Garnishment with the court and sheriff to recover your things. (See the resource ‘Filing a Challenge to Garnishment and Exempt Wages, Money, & Property’.) It is unusual for the landlord to use a moving company because it is very expensive.
Special rules apply if you had to move out of a recreational vehicle, houseboat, or mobile home/ manufactured home that you own or are buying, and that you left where it was when you moved.Call a lawyer for more information.