Renters warned not to leave personal documents behind
By |Published On: 10th February 2016|

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Renters warned not to leave personal documents behind

By |Published On: 10th February 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

The National Landlords Association has joined forces with the Royal Mail to warn tenants across the country to update their address details or take out a redirection service when they move on from a property.

This is to prevent identity theft and financial fraud, with a new survey showing that mail and other personal documents are the sixth most common item left behind by outgoing renters.


In a survey of 1,364 landlords 8% said that they have found or received personal information, including bankslips, payslips, utility and passports after a tenant has vacated their property.

5% said they had to report an item they had found in a home to the police.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association observed, ‘with a quarter of tenants moving on from a property after just a year, it is no surprise that many forget to inform their bank or building society of their new address.’[1]

‘Recent ONS figures show that application fraud cases-when fraudsters open an account using fake or stolen documents in someone else’s name-rose by 14% last year. This means that renters who don’t update their address details or take out a Redirection service to their new home are putting themselves at risk of identity theft leading to financial fraud,’ he continued.[1]

Renters warned not to leave personal documents behind

Renters warned not to leave personal documents behind

Left behind

Clothes were found to be the top thing that renters leave behind at the end of tenancy agreement, closely followed by toys and, unbelievably, animals! Landlords have reported finding ferrets, snakes and live pet sea monkeys!

The top ten items most commonly left behind by a tenant were found to be:

  1. Clothes (14%)
  2. Toys (14%)
  3. Animals (11%)
  4. Exercise equipment (10%)
  5. Furniture/bedding (10%)
  6. Mail and important personal documents (8%)
  7. Electrical items including kettles, fridges and TVs (7%)
  8. Food (7%)
  9. Cars and car parts (6%)
  10. Gardening/plants/tools (6%)

Other surprising items found left behind were the ashes of a dead relative, 14 car tyres, 20 bikes, four sunbeds, a drum kit and a prosthetic leg!

Jim Conning, Managing Director of Data Services at the Royal Mail said, ‘it is interesting-and worrying-to see the range of items that tenants leave behind when moving on from a property. We would always advise renters to not only think about the items they can see when they are moving but also the external services that are linked to the property in their name.’[1]



About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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