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What Should Landlord Do If Tenant Leaves Junk Behind?

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What Should Landlord Do If Tenant Leaves Junk Behind?

Moving can be quite stressful for both the tenant and the landlord. Due to the overwhelmingness of the chore, leaving junk behind is usually inevitable. Some tenants intentionally leave them behind because they;

  • Intend to take only things they need to their new space. 
  • Forget to trash these junks due to the many things going on at the same time.
  • Don’t understand the laws of moving out.
  • Make assumptions that it is the landlord’s responsibility since it is their property.
  • Have no incline about how to deal with junk.

Once junks are left behind, it is the responsibility of the landlord to prepare the space for its new tenants. In this case, what should be done with the leftover junk? How can landlords determine which things to throw out or keep?

Ways to Handling Past Tenant’s Junk

It is important to understand that junk is different from property. Junk is exactly what you are thinking, things that are to be discarded like broken bed frames, cardboard boxes, piles of papers, etc. On the other hand, properties are forgotten materials that are still functional and useful. So, whether your tenant left behind junk or properties, here are steps to take before discarding or doing whatever you want.

Check the Lease Agreement & Local Laws

Doing this gives you an insight into whether there are any laws or clauses related to the steps to take care of abandoned stuff on your property. Getting familiar with these laws helps you know the steps to take to prevent breaking any law.


Take videos or photographs of the things left behind to document the condition of how things were left. This is an important step that is important in case any disputes arise later on.

Contact the Tenant

Send a written notice to inform them about the items left behind and give a deadline for the retrieval date. This can work only if you are aware of their forwarding address. You can also opt to send them an email or phone call. 

Store the Items

The storage duration varies from one jurisdiction to the other. So, ensure that the items are kept safe and in good condition during the stipulated period.

Dispose of the Items

If the tenant fails to claim the items within the notice period, you can proceed to dispose of these items. Some laws permit the sale of useful ones to cover the cost of disposing of the others.

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