Know how to manage Abandoned Goods
Written on the 13 October 2020
The rules that apply to the management of abandoned goods were recently updated and are now located in the Uncollected Goods Act 1995 (NSW). Goods are 'uncollected goods' if, amongst others:
a landlord reasonably believes the goods have been abandoned or left behind by the tenant or an occupant of the premises after vacant possession of the premises is obtained or the premises are abandoned (within the meaning of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW)
a tenant reasonably believes that the goods have been abandoned or left behind by a former co-tenant or former occupant of residential premises after the former co-tenant or former occupant vacated the premises.
How the 'uncollected goods' can be disposed of continues to depend on the estimated value and the type of goods involved. There have been significant changes in the amount of time uncollected goods may be held in storage, dependant on the value of the goods, as follows:
Section 20: Low value uncollected goods Uncollected goods with a value of less than $1,000
Low value uncollected goods may be disposed of in an appropriate manner if the depositor:
has been given oral or written notice of the receiver's intention to dispose of the goods, and
has been given at least 14 days, from the date when notice was given, within which to collect the goods.
Medium value uncollected goods may be disposed of by way of public auction or by private sale for a fair value if the depositor:
has been given written notice of the receiver's intention to dispose of the goods, and
has been given at least 28 days, from the date when notice was given, within which to collect the goods.
High value uncollected goods MUST NOT be disposed of otherwise than in accordance with an order of the Tribunal. A receiver may apply to the Tribunal for an order specifying the way in which the uncollected goods are to be disposed of.
In addition, NCAT can now make orders about uncollected goods that the Local Court had previously dealt with. From 1 July 2020, property managers or their clients may now apply to NCAT to resolve complaints and disputes about 'uncollected goods'. NCAT can make various orders about 'uncollected goods'. These include:
Authorising the removal or other disposal of the goods
Need more information on how to manage abandoned goods? talk to our property managers