How does a landlord deal with stuff left by tenants

Most tenants leave something behind they forgot or didn’t bother packing. Stuff can by anything from clothes to food in the fridge to furniture and even vehicles and bicycles to outright disasters with a real mess to deal with – we’ve seen everything (Please refer to my “7 Tips for Landlords” for general information on leasing to new tenants – if you follow that, you’ll have 100% success with your tenants).

There are 4 basic scenarios landlords deal with when tenants leave.

  1. Their lease ran out and they gave you notice and were good responsible tenants who cleaned up and get there deposit back in full – rare.
  2. Same as above but did not clean up and maybe even caused damage to your property during their term – your costs are deducted from their deposit.
  3. They defaulted in their rent, you kicked them out, they left peacefully – #1 or 2 may apply on junk left behind and/or damage.
  4. They did the midnight run – usually #2 will apply and you’re left with a costly cleanup and repairs.

Dealing with:

#1 You may only need to do some normal touchups here and there and some wear and tear repairs/replacements – ie: carpet, new paint.

#2 This is where your last month deposit kicks in and hopefully covers the cleanup and/or repairs. You’ll need to go through with your original move-in list with your tenant and note any changes such as damage (not normal wear and tear). There should be a clause that any personal property remaining after official move-out day they forfeit and you dispose – get their signature on this clause. They are responsible for all costs deductible from their deposit – provide receipts for costs and your time and hours – anything over the deposit you cannot recover without civil court.

#3 See #2.

#4 The worst – see #2. They have abandoned and you may be faced with extensive cleanup costing several $1000s in junk removal costs not including your labour. Repairs are on top and often is in the $10,000s.

If you followed my “7 Tips…” you should have #1 tenants and your investment will pay off with long-term responsible tenants and minimal move-out costs.

Dealing with the stuff – just call us at Anytime Bins – we’ll send a crew and bins (see our Junk Removal page) and we’ll get your property cleaned up in 4 to 8 hours in most cases.

Thank you and good luck.

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