Abandoned goods

As a tenant, you should remove all belongings from a rental property at the end of a tenancy. 

If goods are left behind, the landlord must store the belongings in a safe place until they are either:

  • reclaimed
  • auctioned.

Landlords do not have to store belongings that are:

  • perishable, such as food
  • worth less than the cost of removal, storage and auction. 

Notifying a tenant

Your landlord must take reasonable steps to notify you that your belongings are being stored. 

This includes:

  • notifying you by phone or mail, if a forwarding address is given
  • publishing a notice in a newspaper that circulates throughout the Northern Territory.

Collect abandoned goods

You are entitled to reclaim any belongings collected by your landlord, provided that you pay the landlord for the following costs:

  • removal
  • storage
  • publishing the notice in a newspaper. 

Unclaimed goods

Your landlord can arrange for your items to be sold by public auction after 30 days. 

The landlord may keep profits to cover the following costs:

  • removal
  • storage
  • publishing the notice in a newspaper
  • any amounts owed to the landlord under the tenancy agreement. 

You are entitled to any money left over from the sale once the landlord has recovered his/her costs. 

If you cannot be contacted, the landlord or agent will forward any money owing to you to the Commissioner of Tenancies who will hold the money in the Tenancy Trust Account. 

Resolve a dispute

If you and your landlord cannot resolve a dispute about disposing abandoned goods, you can contact the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

For more information, contact NT Consumer Affairs.

Last updated: 27 June 2017