Does this really happen? Will a tenant abandon their property? It does, and that is why there is very specific legislation to cover it. It is actually an offence if a landlord doesn’t deal with
an abandoned property in an authorised way and they could be fined up to $2,500.
Landlords must abide by the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 and the changes introduced over the last few years which include procedures for dealing with abandoned personal documents.
What to do once you have determined the property has been abandoned.
It is critically important a landlord/agent establish first whether or not a property has been abandoned by the tenant, otherwise an application to Tribunal would be required.
What happens to personal possessions left behind by the tenant?
Changes in the Act address the landlord’s responsibilities in regard to the treatment of
abandoned goods including:
– perishable goods
– goods left behind: valuable vs non-valuable
– personal documents
Ensure you follow the correct process when handling abandoned property.
The landlord/agent must be aware of ensuring the processes are followed when handling abandoned property and what their responsibilities are in contacting the former tenant or even a Tribunal bailiff, if required. Generally, there are usually clear signs if a tenant is in financial difficulties. Tenants are encouraged to maintain good communication with their landlord/agent at all times.
Any concerns? Don’t put yourself at risk.
If you have any concerns about the likelihood of dealing with an abandoned rental property, consult a rental specialist to assist you, and don’t put yourself at risk. Being in possession of all the facts will make the situation easier to deal with.
If you own an investment property and want peace of mind,
contact Lisa Akeroyd of Barossa Rental Specialists on
0414 335 660 to discuss your rental management strategy.