Goods and documents left behind

Changes to Queensland rental laws came into effect from 6 June 2024. Learn more about the changes and what they mean for you. 

Goods and documents left behind after a tenant has moved out must be returned or disposed of according to specific rules.

Personal documents (e.g. money, birth certificates, original family photographs): must be given to the tenant.  If the tenant cannot be contacted, the personal documents must be given to the Office of the Public Trustee, within 7 days of the end of the tenancy.

The Public Trustee does not take passports, Medicare cards, drivers’ licences or bank cards, they remain the property of the issuer (e.g. a Medicare card should be returned to the Department of Human Services).

Goods left behind at a property: a property manager/owner must make reasonable efforts to contact a tenant regarding good left behind at a property. If, after making reasonable efforts to contact the owner of the goods, is unable to contact the owner of the goods, or the owner of the goods does not reclaim the goods, a property manager/owner may sell the goods by auction.

Reasonable efforts to contact an owner of goods left behind include attempting contact via:

  • phone, including SMS
  • email
  • social media private message
  • emergency contact
  • online newspaper advertisement.

Valuing goods

Goods should be valued to determine their worth; an item that may appear to be junk can actually be valuable. If the property manager/owner intends to dispose of, or sell goods left behind, a record of the items should be kept (eg. itemised list, photos etc) in case of a future dispute over the items.