Disposal of abandoned goods at a rental property

If you believe that the estimated sale value of the abandoned goods is less than it will cost you to remove the goods, store the goods for at least 60 days and sell the goods at public auction you can choose to dispose of the goods.

Before you just dispose of the goods, you should be aware that the tenant may apply to Magistrates Court for compensation for the disposed of goods. You may need to prove to the Magistrate that the goods are of a value less than the cost to remove, store and sell. It is recommended that an estimated value of the goods is obtained in writing from an authorised person such as a second-hand dealer, along with written quotes to show the cost to store the goods for 60 days and written quotes to show the cost to sell the goods at a public auction.

You may request an Abandoned Goods Certificate (AGC) from the our Department. An AGC is not necessary but if you choose to request one, the Department must ensure that all goods are accounted for even if those goods essentially have no value. Therefore you must ensure that you list all of the goods remaining at the premises and provide photographs where the individual good can be clearly identified.

If you are issued with an Abandoned Goods Certificate you may dispose of the goods. The certificate can protect you from future legal proceedings for compensation initiated against you by the former tenant.

What you will need to apply

If you do decide to apply for an Abandoned Goods Certificate, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Title (ie Mr, Ms), name and telephone number of the person requesting the certificate (probably you);
  • Name of the tenant(s) and the tenants last known mobile phone number or email address (if known);
  • Rental address;
  • Date the property was vacated (attach a copy of the court order and bailiffs notice if applicable);
  • Details of any attempted contact with the tenant(s);
  • Itemised list of the goods you wish to dispose of;
  • Clear colour photographs of each item on the list of goods. 

Abandoned Goods Certificate Form

You have the option to complete the Application for an Abandoned Goods Certificate Form and submit it via email.

Please note there is a 10MB size limit on our mailbox receiving emails. Any emails containing a large number of photographs may need to be divided into separate emails. If your email is likely to be more than 10MB in size, you can use the Department's file sharing utility.

You may be asked for further information such as a valuation or quotes to remove the goods. It may not be necessary to provide this information so don't do this unless requested. 

Once we have received all the relevant information, and depending on the value of the goods, you will be advised on whether an Abandoned Goods Certificate will be issued, or if you need to store the goods.

Vehicles, motorcycles, caravans, trailers or boats

Any unlicensed vehicle which is abandoned at a property and located within the property boundary may be covered by an Abandoned Goods Certificate. Please read the section Abandoned vehicles/trailers for further information.

Before you dispose of any goods

Make sure you understand the obligations for storing goods and attempting to notify the former tenant. 

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