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  • Writer's pictureJivko Stefanov

How to Stop Tenants from Leaving Garbage Behind

No One Wants Renters Leaving Their Things Behind When They Move

Managing a rental property in New Jersey can be difficult at times, especially during tenant turnovers. Here at Tverdov Housing, we’ve seen renters leaving their things behind when they move out. Below we will explain the headaches that come with this aspect of property management and what we do to prevent it!

Why is it an Issue When Tenants Leave Their Property Behind After They Move?

  1. The property management company needs to dispose of the items left behind. That costs money that comes from the security deposit.

  2. The time it takes. A rental property manager in New Jersey will either call a junk removal company that will be very expensive but take everything in one pickup, or they’ll have to have someone carry the items out then schedule a bulk pick up with the town, but this can take multiple trips.

Common Items Tenants Leave Behind

  • Bed frames

  • Mattresses

  • Dressers

  • Desks

  • Couches

  • Food in the refrigerator

  • Pots and pans

  • Utensils

In our experience, some tenants really don’t care and just leave the house looking like a bomb went off. In the end, there is a reduction in the security deposit because the costs are directly related to the tenant not following the agreement of the lease. This causes further difficulties since reductions in security deposits are not always taken well.

How We Handle Tenants Leaving Items Behind

Prior to every lease expiration and move-out inspection, we not only post a “Move-Out Instruction Sheet” on the door of the property, but we take the time to send each tenant an email or text message with detailed information about move-out procedures. We follow very tedious procedures to ensure that lease expirations are as easy as possible. We want to guarantee that all tenants are fully aware of the measures that they must take to be refunded their security deposits without any disputes. During turnovers, we perform inspections where we physically check the property for compliance with our instructions and advise renters of any negative findings, giving them the opportunity to make last-minute fixes. Although we do have many tenants who follow the rules, some will no-show for these inspections or argue on the spot about what we observed. Such is the life and role of a property manager.

Pro-Tip: Communication

Essentially, at Tverdov Housing we have just about seen it all and as a result, we are very clear in our instructions. We try to over-communicate and be transparent in what we expect from our tenants. Therefore, we advise that landlords or any property manager in New Jersey creates a move out sheet to advise tenants to follow their move-out procedures. Email the sheet, tape it to the door, and even send a text message with instructions, if necessary. Proper communication eliminates excuses. We even write it in other languages if we have to! By doing this you will be able to ensure two things:

  1. Less damage control/clean-up to complete when turning over the property

  2. Fewer troubles distributing security deposit checks at the end of the turnover period

By communicating properly and following the expectations, both parties end up satisfied and it is ultimately a much smoother transition from tenant to tenant!

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