Can I Throw out a Previous Tenant’s Old Furniture

Sometimes you can’t prevent tenants from leaving stuff behind when they’re moving out. However, the problem is that as the next person coming in, you may not find these items helpful. For old pieces of furniture, you might have to call in a furniture removal company to haul them away.

It is imperative that you know if and when you can call the furniture removal companies after the tenant leaves. State laws vary on this matter, and it would help if you checked this out first. Nonetheless, here’s what you need to note before taking the step to get rid of your previous tenant’s old furniture:

Survey the Property Left Behind

What did the tenant leave behind? In this case, we are looking at furniture. Most tenants tend to leave furniture behind when they’re moving out. Others may be kind enough to call the furniture removal company to haul it away.

Depending on the total value of the item left behind, it might be a good idea to get the local authorities involved. Thereafter, you can store the items as you contact the owner. In most states, the minimum time frame you can give to the tenant to reclaim the item is 5-45 days. In case they don’t pick up the items within this time frame, you’re at liberty to dispose of it. You can sell, donate, keep, or call a furniture removal company to haul the item away.

Securely Store the Property

You are not required by law to store the items left by the previous tenant inside the unit. After all, someone else might need it and wants to move in right away. Nevertheless, you’ll still need a place you can store the belongings.

One option to use is a commercial storage container. Since the furniture may be bulky, you can always call a furniture removal company for assistance in doing so. If your garage can accommodate the item, then this is also an option you can use to store the items.

A takeaway tip here is to get a witness when you’re moving the items – preferably a neighbor. This way, in case the matter goes south, you have somewhere to refer to legally. You may opt to use the security deposit to foot any costs associated with the furniture removal. Therefore, keep all the receipts well for reimbursement when the time comes.

Contact the Tenant

It’s courteous to contact the previous tenant and let them know about their items. They may even have a plan to pick the item up. You should do this regardless of the manner they left.

Making a reasonable effort to communicate with the previous tenant helps them be in the know. Also, it can be a great way to decide whether or not to call the furniture removal company. Of course, this depends on their response. Some of the details that you may need to include when contacting the previous tenant are:

  • Where the property is.
  • The list of properties with images.
  • The deadline to claim the property.
  • Storage charge.
  • Information showing what you’ll do with the property if unclaimed.

When the Tenant Claims the Property

In case the previous tenant finally responds to your messages and reclaims the item, you need to make it available. It would be great if you could create a reasonable place and time for them to pick it up. If they can’t make it to the storage facility you used, contact the furniture removal company to bring the property closer to them.

In case the item is still in the unit the tenant occupied, then different laws apply. For instance, the landlord will need to return small items such as electronics and clothes within 72 hours. On the other hand, bulky items such as furniture will need a little more time allocation. Therefore, you can negotiate the furniture removal with your tenant.

Again, you need to remember to produce the receipts to get any reimbursement on the costs you’ve encountered. You can either demand it on retrieval of the item or deduct it from the security deposit.

Contact a Furniture Removal Company and Charge the Tenant

In case the tenant doesn’t reply to messages, or they intentionally left furniture behind, you can contact furniture removal experts. Thereafter, keep a record of the costs incurred to get your reimbursement.

They may have left junk by accident, but this isn’t the case all the time. Some tenants leave old bulky stuff like furniture simply because they’re evading the furniture removal fees. Some of the pieces of furniture that you’ll need to dispose of include:

  • Broken TV sets.
  • Old and unusable king/queen size mattresses.
  • Damaged furniture like cupboards lacking doors.

Final Thoughts

So, you can’t just throw away stuff belonging to your previous tenant. Use the guidelines above to ensure that you’re operating within the law. Contact a reliable furniture removal company when you have to haul the items away. However, remember to keep the receipts safe, as you’ll need them for reimbursement.

Author Bio:

Larry Alton is a blogger and passionate writer at She loves cooking and is fond of travelling.