If a tenant abandons the property

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Abandoning a property is generally where a tenant moves out and has not:

  • been given a Notice to vacate by the landlord, agent or mortgagee, or 
  • given the landlord or agent notice of their intention to vacate.

If a landlord or agent suspects a tenant has abandoned a property, they may make sure the property is secure; for example, lock doors and windows.

However, if the landlord or agent wishes to inspect inside the property, they must provide 24 hours’ written notice. To avoid potential disputes, it is best to send this notice by registered mail.

Download the Notice to tenant/s of rented premises form (Word, 448KB).

Ending the tenancy agreement

If a landlord or agent believes a tenant has abandoned the property, they may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a declaration of abandonment ending the tenancy agreement. VCAT will hear the case within five business days.

The landlord or agent may need to provide evidence; for example, photos of the abandoned property, or evidence that the tenant has stopped paying rent.

Goods left behind

If a tenant leaves goods behind when they abandon a property, the landlord or agent must follow the procedures set out on our Goods left behind by tenants page

Pets left behind

If a tenant leaves pets behind when they abandon a property, the landlord or agent should immediately contact RSPCA Victoria