What If the Previous Tenants Left Some Furniture Behind?

In the News

Here’s some info on what to do. (Spoiler alert: you can’t simply throw it out!). 

You must inform the landlord! 

Even though the previous tenants were supposed to empty the apartment when they left, they may not have done so. Instead, they may have left you an unwanted “housewarming gift” in the form of old furniture. You may feel tempted to simply throw it out, but you’re not allowed to. 

Court decisions have clarified that the landlord must notify the previous tenants that they have 90 days to come and pick up their furniture. The landlord must be able to prove this notice was sent, so it should be done by registered mail or another means that provides proof of reception. The landlord must then store the furniture somewhere outside of your apartment.  

If the previous tenants do not act within the 90 days, the landlord can get rid of the furniture any way they please.  

Furniture left on the sidewalk  

A landlord does not have to send such a notice when a previous tenant voluntarily leaves furniture that is damaged or of little value on the sidewalk. In this situation, furniture is generally considered “abandoned” rather than forgotten or left behind by mistake. Indeed, any time someone leaves such furniture on a sidewalk or in a public space, it is considered abandoned (whether the person was moving to another apartment or not).   

So, anyone who sees abandoned furniture on the sidewalk in the days before or after July 1st is free to take it if they wish! 

If you’re the one leaving the furniture on the sidewalk, you should keep in mind that municipalities have regulations regarding the collection of heavy objects. You could be fined if you don’t respect these regulations. You should contact your municipality to find out where and when to leave such furniture.  

Have a great move!