What To Do When A Tenant Moves Out Leaving Junk Behind

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on June 9, 2006 under Landlord and Tenant FAQs | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

As every landlord knows, when the tenant moves out they are obligated to return the landlord’s rental property in the same condition it was rented out to them i.e. clean and undamaged. It is mandatory for tenants to remove all their belongings, and clearing the place of all junk and debris.

But, as anyone who is or was a landlord knows that is not what happens most of the time. There are very few tenants who honour their commitments by cleaning out the place when they move out. A mess or discarded items left behind in the rental is absolutely not acceptable. In such a situation, all a landlord can do is to bill the clean-up and junk removal charges to the tenant, either by adding the sum with any rent balance owed or adding it to the Security Settlement Statement and deducting the amount from the tenant’s security deposit.

Often, this can lead to heated arguments between tenant and landlord; therefore, to avoid any unpleasantries, it is a good idea to send a pre-move out letter a few weeks before the tenant is scheduled to vacate your rental property. The letter should warn the tenant that you expect him / her to leave your place clean and debris free; otherwise the cleaning expenses will be deducted from their security deposit.

The move out / clean up / debris removal letter serves as a reminder not to leave garbage or debris removal for the last day of their tenancy. It also drives home the point that all unwanted items should be gotten rid of, instead of being left behind. And, the reminder if you are stuck with repair or cleaning expenses, their security deposit amount will be that much smaller; will no doubt get them to clean up their act and your rental property.

As a landlord, you have to be firm and ensure that tenants do not take you for a ride. After all, you do not want to have to end up paying for damage to your property or charges for clearing up the mess left behind by rude, ill mannered tenants, who have not been taught any better.

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