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What to Do If Tenant Left Personal Property Behind – Part 2 of 2

In the first part of this topic, we discussed that there are regulations that govern what a landlord should do when a tenant left personal property behind. Exemption, storage period, and documentation, duty of care have been discussed. Now what if the belongings are not exempt? Then the landlord required to notify the tenant and…

In the first part of this topic, we discussed that there are regulations that govern what a landlord should do when a tenant left personal property behind. Exemption, storage period, and documentation, duty of care have been discussed.

Now what if the belongings are not exempt? Then the landlord required to notify the tenant and any interested parties by putting up an a in a local newspaper for one day. The ad should have the details of the tenancy and of the belongings. The landlord must also contact the Personal Property Registry to see if someone else owns the properties. If it belongs to someone else, a landlord can contact them for picking the items up and pay off any administration fee that has incurred. A tenant is deemed to be in default of their obligation to the financer and the financer can repossess their property after paying the landlord any moving and/or storage fee that have incurred.

On the other hand, the landlord can dispose the belongings in a commercially reasonable manner such as using a disposal company, selling, or hauling to a dump. The landlord can keep proceeds of any sale of personal property to cover the costs incurred to administer the abandoned property and satisfy any other outstanding debt of the tenant to the landlord. In rare incidence that there is money left over, a landlord must follow the procedure set out in the unclaimed property act. A tenant or other interested party may apply for a court order to prohibit or postpone the sale or disposal of abandoned personal property.

The rental unit can be used as the storage unit if it is more cost effective to leave the belongings in the rental unit. The landlord can apply for a monetary order to withhold the security deposit for the cost of storing the tenant’s personal properties. Administration cost includes your time for administering the personal properties. In general, time is compensated at $20-$25 per hour, though there is no guideline as to what money the landlord’s time is worth.

In any case there is personal properties left behind, it is recommended that the landlord contact the tenant of the disposal date of the personal properties although not required. However, if the tenant or the tenant’s representative asks about the belongings, the landlord is obligated to advise the tenant of the status of the personal properties.

What to Do If Tenant Left Personal Property Behind – Part 1 of 2

Sometimes landlords will find themselves in a situation where their tenant has left behind his or her personal properties in the rental unit after vacating the place. Before you throw all the tenant’s belongings away, you have to determine if they are considered abandoned personal properties or there may be problems when the tenant decide…

Sometimes landlords will find themselves in a situation where their tenant has left behind his or her personal properties in the rental unit after vacating the place. Before you throw all the tenant’s belongings away, you have to determine if they are considered abandoned personal properties or there may be problems when the tenant decide to claim these properties later.

Section 24 to Section 29 of the Regulations deal with abandonment of personal properties. If the tenancy had ended, all personal belongings left behind by the tenant would be considered abandoned. In general, if the total market value of the belongings is less than $500 or if the cost of storing the belongings is above the value of the belongings, then a landlord’s obligations under Residential Tenancy Act would be exempt. However, if the belongings do not meet the exemption criteria, then proper storage and/or disposal procedures would have to be followed.

The tenant’s personal properties must be stored for 60 days following the vacating date. It is recommended that the landlord takes photos of the belongings. The landlord should write down an inventory list and how the items were disposed of. These records have to be kept for two years.

The landlord has a duty of care when dealing with a tenant’s personal properties. Reasonable care and caution required by the nature of the property and the circumstances must be exercised to avoid deteriorating, damaging, or stealing of the property. It is a must that the landlord does not damage the personal property as a result of an inappropriate method of removal or an unsuitable place of storage.

A tenant can claim the abandoned personal properties after they have left, but all money owed to the landlord must be paid off. These includes unpaid rent and/or utilities and/or damages to the unit. In addition, the tenant must reimburse the landlord for the cost to move and store and administer the belongings. Once the owed amounts are paid off, the landlord can release the personal properties back to the tenant.

In the next part of this topic, we’ll discuss how the tenant’s personal properties should be properly store and disposed.