Tips For Cleaning Out The Junk Your Tenants Leave Behind

Posted on: 18 January 2016

Although a rental unit is supposed to be returned to it's former condition when a tenant moves out, that isn't always the case. All too often, tenants leave you, the landlord, with their old garbage. The problem is often compounded if the tenant was evicted. These tenants may leave with no notice, leaving behind most of their belongings. The following tips can help you deal with the aftermath.

Tip #1: Know the Law

Landlord-tenant laws vary by state, and some cities may have additional rules to follow. First and foremost, you need to be sure the tenant has abandoned the property. In most cases, this is taken care of if the lease agreement has ended without renewal, the tenant has returned keys, or if a legal eviction notice has been served and the grace period has ended. Going into the property and removing belongings prematurely is illegal, so make sure you know the laws in your area.

Tip #2: Get Help

There is no good reason to try and empty out a rental unit on your own. Hire a clean out service to handle the dirty work. These services have experience dealing with messes off all types. They can quickly sort garbage from useful items. They also will handle the disposal of garbage and the donation of items in good condition. Finally, they will also thoroughly clean the unit. This includes steam cleaning hard surfaces and shampooing carpets. Many clean out services can also handle hazardous waste conditions, in case the old tenants left behind human or animal waste or other hazards that need to be cleaned up. Forming a relationship with one of these companies at the outset of your landlording career can pay off in the future.

Tip #3: Find Out the Holding Rules

Before you can get rid of everything, you also need to know the holding rules for a tenants belongings. These also vary. In some states, any items left in the unit after moving out or being evicted are immediately forfeit. This means your clean out service can dispose of everything. In other states, you may be required to hold items for the tenants for a short period, such as three days. In this case, you have two options. Either wait to perform the clean out until the holding period is over, or allow the clean out service to start boxing and bagging items, but wait until the holding period is up before disposing of anything.

In areas with a longer holding period, such as a month or longer, it may make more sense to have your clean out service transport everything to a storage unit until the holding period is up and you can dispose of the items. This way you can go ahead and clean up and rent out the unit more quickly.

For a clean out service, contact a company such as Seaside Junk Haulers & Movers LLC.