Abandoned! What to do if your tenant has left the building

While it doesn’t happen often, especially if you have a good screening process in place, sometimes tenants can leave without saying anything. It is something you should be Abandoned! What to do when your tenant has left the buildingaware of and be prepared in case this happens to you.

Determine if the property is in fact abandoned

Do everything you can to try to get in contact with your tenant. Maybe they have just gone away for work, or have been in hospital. Call all of their numbers, try email, even social media. Get in touch with their friends or family members who may know where they are. You can also talk to the neighbours and get them to phone you if they see or hear from the tenant and make sure you take photos of the property to be used as evidence. Make sure you have the date on any photos as further proof.

If you know for sure that they have left, contact your Tenancy Tribunal (The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in Victoria) and declare it abandoned.

Have they left any belongings behind?

Be aware you can’t keep your tenant’s belongings if they have left something behind. Keep trying to get in touch with them to see if they still want it. In some cases you may be able to sell the items to recoup some of your losses.

Consumer Affairs Victoria have some good advice regarding belongings left behind. You can dispose of any perishable or dangerous goods but may have to keep other items for 28 days.

It is quite an unpleasant business, but if you go through it step by step and follow the rules, then you will get through it, and learn from the experience.
 
So have you ever had to deal with an abandoned property? How did you deal with it?
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