When tenants leave junk behind

Did your tenant move out without their junk? Try these quick ‘traffic tips’ to purge the leftovers!

As a landlord or property manager, you may have lingering junk that former tenants left behind. We don’t want to knock renters, of course–most people are very responsible–but sometimes items are left behind because the tenant didn’t come up with an advance disposal plan, weren’t able to fit everything in their moving truck, or didn’t realize leaving items would inconvenience the landlord.

You’re probably strapped for time trying to get the property cleaned so you can hand over the keys to new tenants, but the left over junk is a major roadblock. Here are some ‘traffic tips’ that take into account how much time you have before you need the junk gone.


redSituation #1: Your old tenant moved out this morning, and your new tenant moves in tomorrow. There’s an old couch and patio set left over.

Situation #2: You’ve evicted a problem tenant. There’s garbage and various items still in the unit. There’s no new tenant immediately lined up, but the garbage and mess may turn into a bigger problem if it’s left sitting there.

If you really need junk removed immediately, we strongly suggest (we’re biased) you hire a junk removal company. If the schedule permits, the crew may even be able to come out that day, giving you time to focus on getting the cleaning company in and out as quickly as possible.


yellowSituation: The tenant is gone, but you have a few days to deal with the TV they left behind.

If you have a bit more time to deal with the junk, you can make a few calls. Will a local charity come and pick up working items? Can you take it to the recycling depot? Is there anyone else in the building who’s interested in a free TV? If the items are in good shape, you could offer them to the next tenant.



greenSituation: You moved the old CRT TV into your office and you’ve been using it as a table. But it’s really time to get rid of it.

With more time comes more options. As mentioned in the ‘moderate’ category, bring the junk to the recycling depot or see if a local charity will pick it up. If you work with the day-to-day operations of an apartment building and good items that have been piling up in the storage room, help residents host a building-wide yard sale. Or, if you think you could make a few bucks for strata, put up an ad on Craigslist.

(Feature image credit: Tekton Art)

What kind of junk have your former tenants left behind?

Sam Landa edits the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? blog and is Content Manager and social media manager at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environment & Sustainability, and in her spare time, she enjoys playing live music and writing. Connect with Sam on  or LinkedIn.

2 Responses

  1. Viola says:

    Best company ever!!! Saved us time and our nerves!! Thank goodness we found you! We are spreading the word!

  2. jresquival says:

    That’s a good point that you could see if a local charity would want the tenant’s left behind items. That way you can put the items to good use. If you don’t have time for that, it might be time for a junk removal service.