The Amazing Things People Leave Behind (Part 1)

by Jon on October 4, 2010

People often leave stuff behind to be disposed of whenever they have to abandon their homes.  Either they just run out of time or they don’t have a place to keep it anymore.  If you’re in this business as a Realtor or a service person, you have run across this yourself most likely.  People leave everything from old automobiles, tools, sporting goods (especially heavy exercise equipment), golf clubs, appliances, speakers, old TVs, and the list goes on.  Most of it has little value because it’s old or broken or obsolete.  Also most commonly left behind are hazardous waste materials such as old cans of paint, oil changed from automobiles, pesticides, old tires, fluorescent bulbs, solvents, weed killer, etc.  These require special handling to dispose of and usually involve paying someone or a service to get rid of them legally. So you could say these actually have NEGATIVE value.  But if the estimated worth of personal items left on the premises exceeds a certain amount of money (usually around $300  – based on what you think the items would sell for in a garage sale), then the law requires a waiting period (usually around 18 days) before anything can be done with the property to prepare it for resale.  This is to give the former occupants still another chance to retrieve their personal items.

I have also seen cases where people left stuff behind deliberately because they were angry and wanted to lash out at the “establishment” or the Realtor or Bank.  For instance, one family that we dealt with was so angry that during the last few hours before they were to be totally moved out, they filled half a three-car garage, floor to ceiling with trash, garbage, hazardous waste materials, tree limbs, dead animals and whatever disgusting things they could think of.  We had done an inspection of the property in the morning and everything was fine.  I went back that evening to re-inspect and found that during the day they had come back with several truckloads of junk and filled the place.   That was just plain malicious.

Sometimes angry people not only leave debris behind deliberately, they destroy property as well.  One place I went into had all the interior doors ripped down and laying all about and in the hallway so that one had to climb over them to gain access to the bedrooms and bathrooms.  They had also taken a sledgehammer and shattered all the porcelain toilets and bathroom mirrors; punched holes in the walls and spray-painted profanities and graffiti everywhere.  Finally they threw raw garbage everywhere, which attracted all kinds of critters.  Between the broken glass, the critters, and the stinking, moldy garbage, this place was dangerous to try to get around in.  If you encounter this kind of situation, please be careful.

In my next issue, I will tell you of some other interesting “things” I have found that people have left behind — PETS.  You won’t want to miss this.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

The Nokes October 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Wow! The information on your website is awesome. What you have posted here is really helpful information for folks. Having been a realtor myself I certainly understand the things you’ve described here. It is very sad that people want to punish other people for their own mistakes. Keep up the great stories, they’re really good.

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