What Happens If You Leave Furniture In Apartment

By: ROS Team

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Moving out of an apartment signifie­s the beginning of a fresh chapte­r, but it also entails several decisions that can have a significant impact on both your finances and your reputation as a re­sponsible tenant.

One of these decisions revolve­s around the fate of your furniture. Whether you have an aging yet comfortable couch or a reliable dining table where numerous meals have been shared, de­termining whether to leave behind these­ pieces can be quite intricate.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the often-overlooked consequences if someone moves out and leaves belongings like furniture.

Reasons for Leaving Furniture Behind

When the time comes to move out of an apartment, the question of what to do with your furniture can often be a puzzling one. There are various reasons why tenants might consider leaving their furniture behind, each influenced by unique circumstances and practical considerations.

Reasons for Leaving Furniture Behind
Photo Credit: Canva


Let’s explore some of the common reasons people make this decision:

1. Relocation to a New City or Country:

  • Moving long distances can be logistically challenging and expensive.
  • Transporting bulky furniture across states or countries might not be feasible.
  • Some tenants opt to start fresh with new furniture at their new location.


2. Lack of Space in the New Place:

  • Smaller living spaces in the new location might not accommodate existing furniture.
  • Downsizing could mean that certain pieces of furniture won’t fit comfortably.


3. Time or Budget Constraints for Moving:

  • Moving is time-consuming and can be financially taxing.
  • In some cases, leaving behind furniture is quicker and more cost-effective.


4. Items that are Difficult to Transport:

  • Bulky or oddly shaped furniture might require specialized transportation.
  • The hassle of arranging transportation for such items can lead to the decision to leave them behind.


5. Pre-existing Wear and Tear:

  • Furniture that’s heavily used or damaged might not be worth the effort and cost of moving.
  • Leaving behind worn-out furniture allows tenants to avoid potential disputes over security deposit deductions.


6. Tenant-to-Tenant Agreements:

  • In some cases, tenants moving out might strike agreements with incoming tenants to leave certain pieces of furniture.
  • This can be a convenient arrangement for both parties.


7. Change in Style or Preferences:

  • Personal tastes and interior design preferences can evolve over time.
  • Some tenants may choose to leave behind furniture that no longer aligns with their aesthetic choices.


8. Temporary or Short-Term Stay:

  • Tenants on short-term leases might not see the need to invest in moving their furniture repeatedly.
  • Leaving furniture behind temporarily could be a pragmatic choice for those planning to return.

Potential Consequences of Leaving Furniture

While leaving furniture behind might seem like a convenient solution, it’s important to recognize that this decision can have far-reaching consequences that extend beyond the immediate move. Here are some potential downsides to consider:

Potential Consequences of Leaving Furniture
Photo Credit: Canva


Security Deposit Deductions:

  • Landlords often use security deposits to cover damages and repairs.
  • Abandoned furniture can result in deductions from your security deposit to cover removal and disposal costs.


Legal Issues:

  • Some rental agreements require tenants to leave the apartment in the same condition as when they moved in.
  • Leaving furniture without the landlord’s consent could lead to legal disputes or fines.


Maintenance Costs:

  • Furniture left behind can attract pests, accumulate dust, and cause damage to floors and walls.
  • Landlords might pass on the cost of cleaning and repairs to you.


Tenant Reputation:

  • A history of leaving furniture behind can impact your tenant references and make it harder to secure future rentals.
  • Landlords might view you as irresponsible or careless.


Environmental Concerns:

  • Discarding furniture contributes to waste and environmental degradation.
  • Responsible disposal methods, such as recycling or donating, are preferable to leaving items behind.


Occupancy Delays:

  • Abandoned furniture can delay the process of preparing the apartment for the next tenant.
  • This delay could inconvenience both the landlord and the incoming tenant.


Negative Impact on Neighbors:

  • Left-behind furniture in common areas can create an eyesore and disturb neighbors.
  • Building management might issue complaints about unsightly conditions.


Limited Legal Recourse:

  • If furniture is damaged or stolen after you leave, you might have limited legal recourse to claim losses.


Missed Opportunities:

  • Abandoning furniture means missing out on the opportunity to sell, donate, or repurpose items.
  • You could recoup some costs or help others in need by responsibly handling your furniture.


Potential for Litigation:

  • If your actions breach the terms of your lease agreement, landlords might take legal action to recover costs.


Landlord-Tenant Communication

Open and transparent communication with your landlord is key when it comes to leaving furniture behind in your apartment. Here’s how you can navigate this process effectively:

Landlord-Tenant Communication
Photo Credit: Canva


Notify Early:

  • As soon as you know you’ll be leaving furniture behind, inform your landlord.
  • This gives them ample time to assess the situation and discuss options.



  • Discuss the possibility of leaving furniture with your landlord and seek their input.
  • They might have specific guidelines or preferences regarding furniture removal.



  • If your landlord agrees to your request, document the agreement in writing.
  • Clearly outline which furniture will be left behind and the condition it’s in.


Terms and Conditions:

  • Define the terms under which the furniture will be left behind.
  • Clarify responsibilities for removal, cleaning, and any associated costs.


Landlord Consent:

  • Never leave furniture behind without obtaining explicit consent from your landlord.
  • Doing so without permission can lead to legal issues.


Respectful Exit:

  • If you’re leaving furniture for the incoming tenant, ensure it’s clean and in good condition.
  • A positive transition reflects well on both you and your landlord.


Final Walkthrough:

  • Request a final walkthrough with your landlord to assess the condition of the apartment.
  • Address any concerns or discrepancies before moving out.


Returning Keys:

  • Hand over all keys and access cards as per your lease agreement.
  • Leaving keys behind can complicate the process and lead to misunderstandings.


Provide Contact Information:

  • Share your new contact information with your landlord in case they need to reach you post-move.


Gratitude and Courtesy:

  • Express gratitude for your time in the apartment and for any accommodations the landlord has provided.
  • Leaving on good terms can lead to positive references in the future.


Responsible Furniture Disposal

Responsible disposal is essential if you’ve decided not to leave furniture behind in your apartment. Here are some environmentally friendly and ethical ways to handle furniture you no longer need:

Reasons for Leaving Furniture Behind
Photo Credit: Canva



  • Consider donating usable furniture to local charities, shelters, or nonprofit organizations.
  • This option helps those in need while reducing waste.



  • If your furniture is made of materials like wood, metal, or glass, explore recycling options.
  • Many communities have recycling centers that accept these materials.


Junk Removal Services:

  • Hire professional junk removal services to responsibly dispose of furniture.
  • Ensure they prioritize recycling and donation over landfill disposal.


Upcycling and Repurposing:

  • Get creative by repurposing furniture for different uses.
  • Turn old tables into shelves or transform chairs into plant stands.


Sell or Give Away:

  • Sell furniture through online marketplaces or garage sales to recoup some costs.
  • Offer items for free to friends, family, or neighbors who might have use for them.


Community Exchange Programs:

  • Check if your community has exchange programs where residents can give away or trade items.


Furniture Banks:

  • Some areas have furniture banks that collect and redistribute furniture to individuals in need.


DIY Projects:

  • Embrace DIY projects to restore or refurbish furniture.
  • Give worn-out items a fresh look and a second life.


Composting (Natural Materials):

  • If furniture contains natural materials like untreated wood, explore composting options.


Landfill as Last Resort:

  • If no other options are available, responsibly dispose of furniture in a landfill that follows proper waste management regulations.


Can You Leave Furniture When You Move Out?

In general, you can only leave furniture behind when you move out of a rental property if you have your landlord’s permission. This is because the landlord is responsible for the condition of the property, and leaving furniture behind can be considered a violation of your lease.

If you do leave furniture behind, your landlord may charge you for the cost of removal, which can be expensive. They may also deduct the cost of removal from your security deposit.

Leaving Furniture In Apartment: Final Words

Leaving furniture in the apartment when you move out can be a costly mistake. In most cases, your landlord will charge you for the cost of removal, which can be expensive. They may also deduct the cost of removal from your security deposit.

If you are considering leaving furniture behind, it is important to check your lease and talk to your landlord first. They may be willing to let you leave the furniture if you agree to pay a certain amount of money or if the furniture is in good condition and they can find a new tenant who wants it.