What happens if property is not claimed

When a tenancy comes to an end, it's not uncommon for tenants to accidentally leave behind personal belongings. While some items may be of little value, others could be important or sentimental. So, what happens if these items are not claimed?

Legal Obligations

Landlords have a legal obligation to safeguard any property left behind by tenants for a reasonable period, usually around 28 days. This period allows tenants ample time to claim their items.


It's standard practice for landlords to notify tenants about any abandoned property. This is usually done via email, phone, or a formal letter, detailing the items left behind and the process for reclaiming them. They would also be documented in the Check Out Inventory under 'Abandoned Items'.


During the safeguarding period, landlords are required to store the items in a safe and secure location. However, they may charge a reasonable storage fee, which the tenant would need to pay upon reclaiming their belongings.


If the property is not claimed within the specified period, landlords have the right to dispose of the items. This could mean selling them, donating them to charity, or disposing of them as waste. Any proceeds from the sale may be used to cover storage costs, with the remainder usually returned to the tenant.

Legal Recourse

Failure to claim property within the safeguarding period may result in the tenant losing any legal right to those items. In some cases, landlords may also have the right to take legal action to recover storage costs.


It's crucial for both tenants and landlords to understand their rights and responsibilities concerning abandoned property. Tenants should act promptly to reclaim any items, while landlords should adhere to legal guidelines for storage and disposal.