What to Do When A Tenant Abandons a Property

What to Do When A Tenant Abandons a Property
July 30, 2021 No Comments Blog Luke Thorpe

Abandoning a property can be challenging for most people. However, in the rental business world, it’s a common occurrence for many landlords. Check this, there are two ways landlords can handle property abandonment.

First, landlords should know what to do when a tenant abandons their property. One option they can take is to rent it out to others, but lawyers should legally do it. The second thing landlords should do is know what to do when tenants abandon their personal properties without throwing anything away.

With that said, below are some of the things landlords do when a tenant abandons a property.

Ensure they are gone.

This process is the first thing landlords do to ensure that the tenants are actually gone. They can determine if the tenants are still living in the property by checking:

Whether they are paying rent – if a tenant is still paying rent, it means that the property is still theirs.

Getting in touch with emergency contacts – from the tenant’s rental application form, landlords can call their emergency contacts to know whether they have moved out of the property or not.

Talking to neighbors – landlords can determine whether a tenant is still living in a property by talking to neighbors who may have seen them moving out.

After confirming that they have indeed abandoned the property, landlords can decide the next step to take regarding the property.

Prepare the proper documents.

Landlords are usually advised to present legal documents to show that a tenant has moved out of a property. Below are some things they typically do to ensure they have indeed moved out:

Sending an official notice – landlords should give tenants a 10-day window to respond whether they will be vacating a property or not.

Taking photographs – landlords usually take photographs to check if the property has been abandoned.

Documenting rent lists – landlords usually compile a list showing the first and last day a tenant paid rent, which is then added to the other legal documents of the property.

Lease termination.

When a tenant fails to respond to the landlord on whether they are moving out or not and the property is abandoned, the landlord may declare the tenancy over through legal means.

For example, landlords can file eviction lawsuits in courts, whose exact procedures may vary from region to region but still follow the general guidelines.

Assess why a tenant left.

It’s important to know why a tenant left the property. By understanding why they left, the landlords can ensure that their belongings are handled with care. Some of the reasons a tenant leaves include:

The tenant was convicted and imprisoned.

The tenant disappeared mysteriously.

The tenant was forcefully evicted, leaving behind their belongings.

The tenant left after their lease ended.

Preparing the future leases of property.

Landlords need to include specific conditions about the abandonment of a property, guaranteeing it’s safe. After all, leaving a property just like that can be extremely dangerous.

A straightforward way to ensure that a property is well-protected is by introducing an Extended Absence clause to the lease agreement.

The clause usually states that a potential future tenant can inspect the property and house if the previous tenants are absent for more than a week to ensure everything is safe and ready for occupation.


Abandoning properties is a common occurrence for landlords. While they can rent it out again to others, they still need to follow the proper procedures to ensure it’s been abandoned and ready for new tenants.

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