When and How to Use Personal Property Rental Agreement

You may heard of Personal Property Rental Agreement but never used it before. That is because you have never been in that situation or didn’t know how to use it properly. Here are some tips and helpful information.

When you are dealing with leases of personal property, the agreement document often covers the context of personal assets such as certain equipment, storage, tools or other properties that are necessary to complete a specific task to meet one’s goal. Other case of such a lease agreement includes the rental of personal property for the purpose of recreations or vacations. Thus the type of properties that are involved in the transaction and the property’s value will determine the needs and the details of both parties to the personal properties in the form of rental agreement document.

Generally there are two basic forms of rental agreements regarding any type of personal rental property related transactions between landlords and tenants. First one is very simple rental or lease agreement that many people use when they would like to do a short term rentals for relatively inexpensive personal properties. For the rental of more valuable properties, there is a secondary form being used with more complex details and restrictions. One can utilize this secondary form to tailor and add particular clauses into the first form when there is a particular business situation arising. Also there are two different lease agreement termination forms specific to each form’s details.

When you are looking for inexpensive property rental, you can use personal property rental agreement which is designed to be used for that particular situation for only short period of times. That form will not address every single details of potential problems during the rental period, but it generally baselines the legal guideline between the landlords and tenants. This enforceable contract between two parties is used with regards to the rental of personal properties. Usually the name and address of the both parties, description of the property and the terms and amount of the rental are required in this type of forms.

When the renter wants to provide a written notice in order to terminate the complex property lease agreement, there is a form called Renter’s Notice to Terminate Rental Agreement. The information needed to fill out this form would be the name of owner, descriptions of lease agreement which was originally signed upon, and the exact date and reason for the rental termination.

On the contrary, if the owners would like to terminate the rental agreement, they can use Owner’s Notice to Terminate Rental Agreement. They will have to fill out the name of renter, full descriptions of agreement, and the date and specific reasons for terminating the contract.

The Importance of Personal Property in Estate Planning and Estate Settlement

For the next several years, the United States is going to be inundated with the largest demographic of older people joining the ranks of “seniors” that this country has ever experienced.

This new trend signals dynamic changes for estate planning and estate dispositions. In the last three years, a paradigm shift has occurred in the personal property business. The multitude of inquiries are now from Boomers asking for help with their parents’ personal property appraisals or estate clean outs. They are just beginning to comprehend that they also are facing the eventuality of their own need to scale back. Before 2006, the majority of inquiries for help in appraising items, helping downsize, and appropriately disposing of personal property, were almost always from Boomers’ parents, who had become frail mentally or physically and needed to be in a more protective living environment.

One reason for the dramatic changes in estate planning and property disposition is based on the statistic that Baby Boomers have more siblings than children! The support system underneath them will not be as broad as what they provided for their parents’ generation or for themselves. They are expected to outlive their own parents by at least ten years. One can only surmise what will happen to older adults in this future, if their estates are not large enough to sustain them in their golden years. Soon, Boomers will be making life-changing decisions more proactively for themselves than their parents did.

By definition, an estate is “the nature and extent of an owner’s rights with respect to land or other property.” However, people see their estate as land, building structures and portfolio assets in cash and investments, but often overlook the potential worth of their personal property that surrounds them. In fact, recently completed personal property appraisals show that the value of personal items and collections housed within the home were appreciably more than the sale of the house and its land.


Over the years, personal property begins to build in all households. The psychology behind accumulation has been studied in hoarders and certain types of compulsions. However, the basic reasons all people accumulate are for comfort, sentimentality, procrastination, fear of things becoming more valuable, fear of change, and control. Within the Great Depression era, they also didn’t want to discard anything, because “one day we will use it.” As humans, our need to accumulate probably goes back to the time of the caveman. If they didn’t gather and accumulate the basics, they simply didn’t survive.


Personal property items, such as jewelry, antiques, furniture, heirloom pieces, art, coin, stamp and book collections, may all command impressive amounts of money if their market value is known, as well as the best outlets for selling. To safeguard a client’s personal property within an estate, professionals should help you with the evaluation process, before costly mistakes occur.

With this in mind, you should have a list of reputable senior resources at hand to recommend to clients. For the evaluation of personal property, work with a respected personal property appraiser who is educated and experienced in this industry and can also recommend a network of reputable professionals to properly dispose of collections. Personal property experts are strategic partners to you, to urge your clients to:

Know the appraised value of their household goods, collections, and furnishings. There are plenty of unsavory and unscrupulous people waiting in the wings to take or to purchase these belongings cheaply, when the owner does not know the worth!
Record this appraisal information in a written format with photographs or videotape to accompany the evaluation for personal knowledge, insurance purposes, and to place with their important legal documents. This record eliminates most from guessing the value, when the time comes to divvy up the estate equally among designated heirs. Update every five years.
Find someone to help them understand estate tax and consequences. Emphasize that “dying is not cheap” and the wisdom of distributing personal property prior to death, if they desire. These actions help minimize feuding among the heirs, simplify what the heirs have to go through, and make life easier for everyone involved in the estate settlement process.

By knowing the value and having it in writing, their heirs will not make dangerous assumptions, for example, that the personal property is all “junk” and should be disposed of quickly at a yard sale. Personal property liquidators provide your client with peace of mind and the means to downsize and dissolve a home full of a lifetime of accumulated things.

A professional evaluation is also necessary because family members can inflate values and history of items that have been passed from generation to generation. Sometimes these stories about items become so embellished with time that they lose their accuracy.


The process of dismantling the contents of a home begins with family members. Prior to the division of the personal property, an appraiser should have come in to offer the executor and heirs a fair market value on the significant belongings. Once items have then been distributed among the heirs, the remainder should be left in charge of a professional appraiser and estate liquidator, who knows upon sight what contents can be sold and what can’t. Different methods of distribution include estate sales, auctions, consignment houses, garage sales, donations, and ads in newspaper or on the Internet. Before anything is given up to these outlets, the family should be aware of what they have and the values. It is a wise decision for senior clients and Boomer heirs to plan their own downsizing and evaluation of their possessions. Making these decisions while the respected elder is still in control is best for everyone.

Boomers are changing the way they will think and deal with estate matters, since so many of them will soon be handling these decisions themselves. Together, let’s advocate for all older adults to ensure that they are treated fairly, honestly and with compassion, in learning the worth of their personal property and helping them downsize, discard and distribute their belongings.

Personal Property Vs Real Property – Understanding the Difference, Avoiding the Lawsuits

Let’s take a look at Personal Property as it compares to Real Property. This is a topic that comes up a lot when a real estate transaction gets difficult and the two parties (buyer and seller) begin to argue over what stays in the house and what doesn’t according to the contract and law.

Personal property is defined as all property that can be owned and does not fit the definition of real property. In other words, if it is not real property then it is personal property. An important distinction between the two is that personal property is movable. Personal property is also referred to as chattels. For those of you who like to work on expanding your vocabulary.

Next let’s look at some examples of personal property including manufactured housing, plants, crops, and classifications of fixtures.

Manufactured Housing is defined as dwellings that are not constructed at the home site. These are normally trucked in and placed on the property. For those of you breaking down the word manufactured, and wondering why all homes aren’t considered manufactured, since they are after all “manufactured” think of mobile homes as manufactured. Here’s the tricky part, if the manufactured home has been attached to the property then it is REAL property, if it is just sitting there and hooked up to utilities then it is PERSONAL property. Why would it matter? well, if it is REAL property, then the property taxes are higher because the government sees the homes as essentially adding value to the land it sits on.

Plants and Crops: There are two categories here and both have their differences. Trees, perennials, shrubbery and grass that do not require annual cultivation are considered real property or real estate. And these transfer with the sale of the property. Crops on the other hand that are harvested on an annual basis, are considered emblements. Or personal property and in the sale of the property, the crops that are being produced stay with the seller for that current harvest.

Here are some additional details… if an item on the land, lets say a tree (which is real property) is cut down and separated from the land (called severance), then it becomes personal property. It is also possible to do the same thing but the other way. If the tree that was cut down is used to build a home on the property, through annexation, it become real property.

Fixtures – these are often the hot topic in the sale of a home because sellers often take their fixtures with them when they move, and that is against the agreement set out by the contract. Knowing what a fixture is, will help you understand what to expect stay with the home and what does not. A fixture is personal property that has been affixed (attached) to the land or building and it becomes real property. Remember real property stays with the home when it is sold.

How do you test if an item is a fixture or personal property? Here are the three basic tests the court will use to decide.

1. Method of Annexation – how permanent is the method of attachment? Can the item be removed without damaging the surrounding property?

2. Adaptation to Real Estate – Is the item being used as real property or personal property? For example a fridge is normally considered personal property because it can be removed easily. However if the refrigerator has been adapted to match the kitchen cabinetry, it become a fixture.

3. Agreement – Have the parties agreed on whether the item is real or personal in a purchase offer.

The overall rule is to determine, what is the purpose of the fixture? Is it’s function to be personal property or a real property.

Trade Fixtures are the exception to the rule. A trade fixture is property used in the course of business. Often it will be attached to the property and resemble real property. However, if it is something used as part of the seller’s trade, it is considered personal property and does not stay with the home.

Often home buyers will be looking at homes and what draws them to the home will be certain aspects of the home. Fixtures such as entertainment centers, backyard gazebos and surround sound speakers are often considered fixtures and real property that will stay with the home. However a home owner may consider those items of great value and may be planning on taking them to their new home. It is very important to identify what fixtures you want and expect to stay in the home and put those items in the purchase agreement so everyone will be on the same page and in agreement from early on.

Tip Sheet on How to Collect Personal Property of California Decedents by Affidavit and Avoid Probate

A powerful tool to collect bank and brokerage accounts of a relative who has died is California Probate Code §13100. This law provides for the collection and transfer of personal property of a decedent by affidavit or declaration without probate court or any other legal action.The affidavit/declaration is made by the decedent’s successors, those persons succeeding to the property by will or intestacy.


1. This procedure is for personal property only, not real property. Bank and brokerage accounts are personal property.

2. Personal property and real property owned by decedent cannot exceed $150,000. Property held in joint tenancy and trust are excluded from the total. Automobiles, boats and mobile homes are also excluded from the total.

3. If the estate of the decedent includes any real property in California, the affidavit is accompanied by an inventory and appraisal of the real property.

4. Original death certificate.

5. 40 days have passed since death.

6. No probate petition has been filed in probate court for decedent’s estate.

Why this is so powerful of a tool

The affidavit is a document. It is not filed with the court, just submitted to the financial institution.
A notary public’s certificate of acknowledgment identifying the person executing the document is reasonable proof of identity of the person executing the affidavit. Personal appearance by the successor is not needed.
If the financial institution holding the decedent’s property refuses to pay, deliver, or transfer any personal property within a reasonable time, the successor may compel compliance by filing a complaint in Superior Court. The Successor is allowed to recover reasonable attorney fees.

Intestacy Distributions of Personal Property, i.e. no Will and no surviving spouse, how distributions will be decided

1. Real property passing, no surviving spouse or issue and predeceased spouse has died within 15 years

For purposes of distributing real property if the decedent had a predeceased spouse who died not more than 15 years before the decedent and there is no surviving spouse or issue of the decedent, the portion of the decedent’s estate attributable to the decedent’s predeceased spouse passes to predeceased spouses intestate heirs.

2. Intestacy Distributions of Decedent’s personal property, no surviving spouse or issue and real property with predeceased spouse who has died more than 15 years

to the decedent’s parent or parents equally.
If there is no surviving parent, to the issue of the parents
If there is no surviving parent or issue of a parent to grandparents equally
If there is no surviving parents or grandparents to the issue of those grandparents
If there is no surviving parent, grandparent or issue of a gr andparent, but the decedent is survived by the issue of a predeceased spouse, to that issue
If there is no surviving issue, parent or issue of a parent, grandparent or issue of a grandparent, or issue of a predeceased spouse, but the decedent is survived by next of kin, to the next of kin in equal degree