When a tenant leaves belongings behind in Ontario, the landlord must follow specific legal procedures. The landlord must provide a written notice and store the belongings for a set period of time before disposing of them.
what to do when tenant leaves belongings behind ontario? Even though you may be frustrated by the situation, it’s essential to handle it appropriately to avoid potential legal issues.
Failure to comply with legal procedures could result in costly fines and legal action against you. We’ll discuss what to do when a tenant leaves belongings behind in Ontario, outlining specific steps you must take to comply with the law.
Understanding Your Legal Rights And Responsibilities As A Landlord
As a landlord in Ontario, you are responsible for ensuring that your property is safe and habitable for your tenants. In return, tenants are required to pay rent and adhere to the terms of their lease agreements.
It is important to understand that tenants have specific legal rights in Ontario, and landlords must comply with all relevant laws and regulations.
Legal Obligations For Landlords Under The Residential Tenancies Act
Under the ontario residential tenancies act (RTA), landlords have specific legal obligations when a tenant leaves belongings behind. These obligations include:
- Providing written notice to the tenant: A landlord must provide written notice to the tenant explaining that they must remove their belongings within a specific timeframe.
- Safekeeping of the belongings: After providing notice, a landlord must take reasonable steps to ensure that the tenant’s belongings are safe and secure until they can be collected.
- Allowing the tenant to collect their belongings: A tenant has the right to collect their belongings at any time, as long as they pay any reasonable expenses incurred by the landlord for storing the items.
How To Handle Abandoned Property In Compliance With The Law
If a tenant has abandoned their belongings, the landlord must take reasonable steps to ensure that the property is properly disposed of, sold, or donated. Here are some steps that landlords should take:
Provide written notice to the tenant
A landlord must send a written notice to the tenant indicating that the property has been considered abandoned and that it will be disposed of, donated, or sold in a specific timeframe.
Store the belongings
A landlord must store the belongings for a specific timeframe before taking any further action.
Sell or dispose of the belongings
If the belongings are not claimed or removed after the specified timeframe, the landlord may sell or dispose of them in compliance with legal requirements.
Steps To Take When A Tenant Leaves Property Behind
How To Identify Abandoned Property
When a tenant vacates a rental property, they are expected to take all their belongings with them.
However, some tenants may leave behind items unintentionally or abandon them without notice. As a landlord, it is crucial to identify abandoned property before taking any steps.
Some ways to identify abandoned property are:
- If the property is unoccupied for an extended period, it may be considered abandoned.
- If the tenant has not responded to any communication attempts after vacating the property, it may be considered abandoned.
- If the tenant expressly states they are not interested in retrieving the left property, it may be considered abandoned.
Contacting The Former Tenant And Giving Notice To Remove Property
As a landlord, it is important to give the tenant adequate notice to collect their belongings before disposing of any abandoned property. The notice may be given either in writing or verbally, indicating the date by which they must collect their abandoned property.
It is also crucial to include in the notice where the property will be stored and how it can be retrieved.
If the tenant fails to collect their property within the specified deadline, the landlord may dispose of it according to the legal requirements.
Disposing Of Abandoned Property According To Legal Requirements
In ontario, landlords must follow specific procedures for disposing of abandoned property. Here are the legal requirements that must be followed:
- The property must be stored in a secure location for at least thirty-one days.
- A notice must be posted in a visible location on the rental property and sent via registered mail to the tenant explaining the details of the property left behind and how it can be retrieved.
- If the value of the property is less than $2,500, and the tenant does not collect within thirty-one days, the landlord may dispose of the property.
- If the property is valued at more than $2,500, the landlord must file an application with the landlord and tenant board to get a court order before disposing of the property.
Hiring A Professional Inventory Service And Obtaining A Court Order
A landlord may choose to hire a professional inventory service to take a complete inventory of all the abandoned property to avoid any discrepancies and preventing any potential disputes.
The inventory service can also be a witness of the storage and disposition of the property if needed.
If the tenant does not collect their property or the value of the abandoned property is more than $2,500, the landlord must apply to the landlord and tenant board for a court order before disposing of the property.
The court order will give the landlord the legal authority to dispose of the abandoned property in a manner that is acceptable under the law.
FAQs for What to Do When Tenant Leaves Belongings Behind Ontario?
What Should I Do If My Tenant Leaves Belongings Behind?
Contact the tenant and arrange for them to retrieve their belongings or store them for a reasonable amount of time.
Can I Dispose Of My Tenant’S Abandoned Property Without Notice?
No, as a landlord you cannot dispose of your tenant’s abandoned property without providing proper notice and following legal procedures.
How Long Do I Need To Hold Onto My Tenant’S Abandoned Property?
The amount of time you need to hold onto your tenant’s abandoned property varies by province but generally ranges from 10-30 days.
What Should I Do If My Tenant Refuses To Retrieve Their Belongings?
After a reasonable amount of time, you may sell the items and use the proceeds to cover any outstanding rent or damages, following legal procedures.
Navigating the aftermath of a tenant leaving possessions behind in Ontario doesn’t have to be a headache. You’re covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.
So, don’t stress; catalog the items, give proper notice, and then sell, dispose of, or store as necessary. You’ve got this, landlord.