What To Do When A Tenant Leaves Belongings Behind?
Updated: Sep 4
When your tenant moves out upon lease expiration or eviction, the first thing you do as the owner is to inspect the property. More often than not, tenants leave a lot of stuff such as rubbish, empty bottles, and some of their belongings.
Disposing of rubbish is one thing, but the rules are different when it comes to belongings. There are specific guidelines to be observed under your local statute to avoid unnecessary legal repercussions.
What to do with belongings your tenant leaves behind?
Here's what you should do about left-behind belongings, under the Western Australia Residential Tenancy Act:
If you’re dealing with perishable goods and trash, you can dispose of it immediately.
Belongings should be estimated for its value. If its estimated value is less than the cost of removing it from your property, you can sell it after two (2) days.
However, if the estimated value of the left-behind belongings costs more than its removal from your property, the following should be observed:
You can store the belongings for sixty (60) days, and need to notify your previous tenant (last known address provided) within the first seven (7) days they're placed in storage.
The notification should also be done in a state-wide newspaper.
Left behind photos, documents, and letters (hard or soft copies) can be stored for 60 days. Reasonable steps to contact the owner must be done.
If the owner reclaims their belongings before sixty (60) days, he/she will be liable for the costs associated with the storage and removal of the belongings or documents.
If the belongings or documents are not claimed after sixty (60) days, you can dispose of them through a sale to recover costs. A reminder: be sure not to expose the identity of the owner to the public.
Get in touch with Advantas Property Group, real estate agents in Baldivis, for all management and leasing services. We are happy to assist you in your property investment and management needs!