What are a landlord’s rights regarding abandoned goods left at a property after a tenancy has ended?

What are a landlord’s rights regarding abandoned goods left at a property after a tenancy has ended?

EVERY year the REIWA Information Service receives thousands of calls regarding renting and property sales.

Residential asked for the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions.

What are a landlord’s rights regarding abandoned goods left at a property after a tenancy has ended?

An “abandoned good” is defined as any possession left by the tenant which remains at the property for two or more days after the lease has been terminated.

These abandoned goods can be anything from a couch, to bedding, to cutlery to much bigger items like a car.

While in some instances removing an abandoned good is self-explanatory (for example, if perishable goods are left in the fridge), there are other instances where the item is more valuable and therefore removing it is more complicated.

The best thing to do when determining how to get rid of an abandoned good is to consult the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).

The RTA clearly defines the landlord’s obligations and rights in this matter.

It states a landlord is entitled to remove, destroy or dispose of the abandoned goods if the goods are perishable food stuffs or the value of the goods is less than the estimated cost of removal, storage and sale of the goods.

Where the goods have a higher value, the RTA instructs the landlord to store the goods in a safe place for 60 days.

After this period of time, the goods must be sold at a public auction.

If the goods are sold at auction, the landlord is entitled to claim back any expenditure they incurred when removing the item from storage and selling the goods.

If your rental property is professionally managed, your property manager will be able to advise and assist you with removing the abandoned goods from the property.

Members of the WA public who are dealing with a REIWA agent can direct their real estate queries and concerns to the REIWA Information Service on 9380 8200 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Note: the REIWA Information Service is closed from 23 December and reopens 2 January.