Q: Can a landlord dispose of a tenant’s property left behind at the end of a tenancy?
- Where the goods are perishable items, such as food they can be disposed of immediately. It becomes a little more problematic for other goods. In these cases the landlord must take all reasonable steps to contact the tenant and arrange return of the goods. If the tenant claims the goods you can request reasonable transport and storage costs from the tenant. If after 35 days, the tenant still hasn’t claimed the goods you can continue to store them or take personal documentation to the police (ask for a receipt) and sell the rest at reasonable market value. The landlord can then apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for proceeds from the sale for reimbursement of costs incurred in storing and disposing of the goods.
Note: It’s a little-known fact that most property management companies need to have storage facilities available for often having to store tenants’ possessions at the end of a tenancy.