Goods and documents left behind

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).

The property manager/owner must make reasonable efforts to contact the tenant about these items.

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 (itemised list, photos etc) in case of a future dispute over the items.