- Landlords can be held liable for personal property left behind.
- Oftentimes, leaving behind personal property requires a lease amendment.
- Tenants likely cannot be held accountable for damage to the personal property you left behind.
While it may seem like a bizarre question, the team at Grace Management knows the importance of addressing the issue of leaving personal property behind at a rental property. Personal property includes items like drapes, a piano, a lawnmower, cleaning supplies, a pool table, etc. Landlords and rental property owners often leave these items behind with the best of intentions. They wish to provide additional value to their tenants or think that by leaving something like a lawnmower, their tenants will be more inclined to care for their property.
However, we strongly urge rental property owners against leaving ANY personal
property in or at your occupied rental unit. Here are our top reasons why:
When providing your personal property to tenants, you assume liability if the tenant is injured as a result of the property. For example, if your tenant cuts their hand while using your lawnmower, you could be liable for their injury. If the lawnmower were their own, you would have no liability for the same injury.
Unnecessary Maintenance Responsibilities
If you decide to leave your personal property at your rental unit, you must maintain that property UNLESS otherwise stated in your lease agreement. If your lease is silent on this, by default, you will assume responsibility for the maintenance of the property. This requires the additional step of amending your lease and maintaining another piece of property.
Colorado law does not protect personal property. Unlike normal wear and tear items, there is little regulation around personal property left by an owner at a rental unit. For example, if a tenant punches a hole in your wall, the owner would be legally permitted to charge them for the damages. However, if your tenants break a pool table you left in the basement, you would not be legally allowed to pursue damages from them. The law does not clearly define what landlords can charge or deduct for wear and tear on personal property. We recommend avoiding this situation altogether by removing any personal property from your rental unit before a tenant moves in.
If you have questions about personal property, liability, or any other rental property related matter, give our team a call! We are here to serve Colorado real estate investors however we can. 303-255-1990