Disposal of abandoned goods at a rental property

Goods of little or no value

If the estimated value of the goods left by the tenant is less than what it would cost for you to remove the goods, store the goods for at least 60 days, and sell the goods at public auction, you can apply for an Abandoned Goods Certificate. This includes jewellery, motor vehicles, caravans, trailers or boats. 

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

What you will need to apply

To apply for an Abandoned Goods Certificate, you will need 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);
  • A copy of a signed statutory declaration declaring the goods may be disposed of (if one has been obtained); 
  • 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 to acquire a valuation by an authorised person, such as a second-hand dealer or a licensed used motor vehicle dealer, and quotes to remove the goods, store them and sell them at public auction. It may not be necessary to provide this information so don't do this unless requested

Once you have all of the above details, 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.

Items which can be disposed of without an Abandoned Good Certificate 

Perishable foodstuffs

You may dispose of these after 2 days. 

Rubbish

These items can be disposed of immediately. 

  • Newspapers and magazines;
  • Cardboard boxes, plastic bags, household rubbish etc; 
  • Personal items eg toiletries, perfume, make up, medicines and pharmaceuticals;
  • Cleaning products, paint, solvents, oil, chemicals; and
  • Non-perishable foodstuffs. 

Items requiring alternative reporting

Money

You can contact the Department of Treasury for information on how to deal with unclaimed money

Animals and pets

You can contact an animal shelter or refuge for information on what to do with unclaimed animals and pets. 

Firearms, illegal drug paraphernalia or equipment

You must report any firearms, illegal drug paraphernalia or equipment to the Police. 

Rental items belonging to a third party commercial supplier

You can contact the supplier to arrange the return of any item which belong to a third party commercial supplier such as rented whitegoods, Foxtel units, rented furniture, shopping trolleys etc.

Unidentified items

Any item not identified on the application, or not clearly identified within the photographs provided, cannot be included on the Abandoned Goods Certificate. You will be advised of any unidentified items and asked to provide clear corresponding photographs to identify them. 

Before you dispose of any goods

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

Share this page:

Last modified: