Landlording Advice - Reclaiming Deposit

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Landlording Problems - Reclaiming Deposit

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Q: My tenants left on June 2nd. They had paid the rent to May 31st. They left about half their furniture along with a terrific mess. They had even used the little back porch area for their garbage - no garbage bags, just all of it on the floor! I did some initial cleaning up but have asked another person to clean it up to I plan to pay her out of their damage deposit.
My questions are:

1 Is there any problem with my paying to have it cleaned up, taking the cost out of the damage deposit?

2. What is my obligation when they are not returning for their furniture and/or damage deposit? How long do I have to store their furniture for them?

3. How long do they have to make a request for their damage deposit? They did not leave a forwarding address but I might be able to locate one of them through his place of work.

Many thanks for any help you can give me.
A: 1) There is a huge problem with taking the cost out of the damage deposit because the deposit isn't yours in the first place. You must claim against the deposit in accordance with the Act or you can wind up having to pay double the amount back to the tenant.
2) As the landlord you are required to follow section 25 of the Regulations - inventory the possessions left behind, store the goods, keep particulars for 2 years, and inform the tenant(s) as to how the property can be retrieved and/or how it was disposed of. Be careful when disposing of other peoples'property. You can only dispose of property that has a market value of less than $500; the cost of removing, storing and selling the property would be less than its value; and/or the storage of the property would be unsanitary or unsafe.
You are well advised to photograph each item and be prepared to show what is garbage and what isn't - you'd be surprised at what some people find valuable and others want to toss out.
3) The tenant(s) has 2 years from the end of the tenancy to apply for return of the security deposit; 1 year if he leaves no forwarding address. The landlord has 15 days from the end of the tenancy to claim against the deposit but up to one year in a case where the tenant cannot be found and has not left a forwarding address. [Note - if you know how to find the tenant pretending you don't and avoiding making a reasonable effort to locate the tenant doesn't wash.]


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