Landlords – If you own a large home with a basement rec room that has been converted into a poolroom, in most cases your incoming tenant will be excited about you leaving the pool table. Given the cost and hassle associated with moving a pool table, leaving it in the home is generally the best option for both landlord and tenant. Other than the pool table, landlords should plan to remove ALL of their personal property from the home when they convert their home into a rental property.
As landlords are packing up, they sometimes wonder if they can leave their bar stools, or large couch, thinking that the tenants may appreciate some furniture that fits perfectly in the house. Or landlords may wish to keep several large boxes or trunks in a storage area. In our experience, tenants want to walk into a completely empty house so that they can begin putting their own belongings in place. Tenants are concerned that they will be held responsible for the owner’s belongings and are really not comfortable with any such arrangement.
This month, we had three new landlords who asked tenants if they could leave a few things behind. In all three cases, the tenants agreed. However, once the tenants moved in and saw the condition of the remaining items and how much space those items were taking, the tenants quickly became frustrated with the agreement. For each of these cases, we then had to make arrangements on behalf of the landlords to have the items removed and disposed of.
It is perfectly OK to leave behind the paint cans associated with the wall colors, or some spare tiles or hard wood planks that may be needed to repair potential damage to those hard to match items. Other than that, we advise owners to completely clear the home of all personal items. As a landlord, you are typically entering into a 2-3 year relationship. The first day of that relationship sets the tone for the future. So, on the first day of the lease, the house should be clean and clear of someone else’s “stuff”. This enables the tenants to focus on their own transition process and not worry about what the landlord has left behind.