Wed 2 Aug 2023

Leaving Rubbish When Moving House (Should You Do It)

Leaving Rubbish When Moving House

Moving house is stressful time in your life. I know because I’ve just done it! There are many things that you need to remember and organise, from packing up to arranging for utilities to be disconnected and reconnected, and postal redirects. There’s one question that we were asked recently though which you might also have wondered about: whether it is acceptable to leave rubbish behind when you move house.

While it may be tempting to leave rubbish behind when you move out, just pause for a moment. Yes, you’ve got a lot going on, and it’s far easier to do so, but is it right? 

We don’t believe you should leave rubbish behind when moving house for several reasons. Leaving rubbish behind isn’t fair on the new occupants of the property, can cause them issues, and could even be illegal in some cases. Please do dispose of any rubbish or unwanted items before you move out, to ensure that the property is clean and ready for its new occupants.

But let’s get into more detail on why this is the case…

Before we do that though, if you need a company to remove rubbish from outside of your home, call us today for a quote

Why you should not leave rubbish behind when moving house

Leaving rubbish behind is bad etiquette, and for more than just one reason.

1. Legal obligations

Leaving rubbish behind might result in a hefty bill if you haven’t agreed in writing with the new homeowners and solicitors what is to be left behind. Similarly this is true in rented properties with a landlord. 

Check your contract or sale agreement and make sure you’re not leaving any rubbish behind that could cause problems or upset the new occupants.

2. Environmental impact

Leaving rubbish behind can have a negative impact on the environment, especially if the property is going to be empty for some time with nobody there to take responsibility for the waste.

3. Health and safety

Leaving rubbish behind can also pose a health and safety risk. Furniture, appliances, and other items left behind can be a tripping hazard, and rubbish left in the property can attract pests such as rats and mice. 

Let’s think more about the environmental impact of leaving rubbish when you move home.

More on the environmental impact of leaving rubbish behind

Landfill waste: The rubbish left behind could end up in a landfill site and might not be recycled. As the waste decomposes, it releases methane gas. Landfills can also pollute groundwater and soil, which can have long-term effects on the environment.

Hazardous waste: If the rubbish left behind contains hazardous materials, such as chemicals or batteries, it can pose a risk to the environment and public health. These materials can leak into the soil and groundwater, contaminating them and potentially harming wildlife and humans.

Illegal dumping: Leaving rubbish behind is considered illegal dumping and can result in fines and legal action. Illegal dumping is a serious environmental issue that affects communities and wildlife. It can lead to pollution, habitat destruction, and the spread of disease.

It is important to dispose of rubbish properly when moving house to minimise the environmental impact. This can be done by:

Recycling: Recycling as much as possible can reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Many local councils offer recycling services, and there are also private companies that can collect and recycle waste.

Donating: Items that are still in good condition can be donated to charity shops or given away to friends and family. This not only reduces waste but also helps those in need.

Hiring a rubbish removal company: If there is a large amount of rubbish to dispose of, hiring a rubbish removal company such as us is a great option. We regularly recycle and donate items that can still be used and divert up to 97% of waste away from landfill sites. 

We will come to your property and collect all of your unwanted items and rubbish from your house.

Legal ramifications

When moving house, it is important to consider the legal ramifications of leaving rubbish behind. The legal obligations of the seller or tenant vary depending on the terms of the contract and the type of property being sold or rented.

If the seller or tenant leaves rubbish behind, it could result in legal. This is because it is their responsibility to ensure that the property is left in a clean and tidy condition, ready for the new occupants to move in.

In some cases, the contract may specify that the seller or tenant must dispose of all rubbish before vacating the property. Failure to do so could result in a breach of contract, which could lead to legal action being taken against them.

Furthermore, leaving rubbish behind could also result in damage to the property. For example, if rubbish is left outside, it could attract pests such as rats and mice, which could cause damage to the property and its contents.

In summary, leaving rubbish behind when moving house could result in legal action being taken against the seller or tenant. It is important to ensure that all rubbish is disposed of properly and that the property is left in a clean and tidy condition, ready for the new occupants to move in.


In conclusion, leaving rubbish behind when moving house is not only inconsiderate but can also lead to legal issues. It is important to dispose of all rubbish before leaving the property, as leaving it behind can cause problems for the new owners and may result in additional expenses for the previous owners.

Creating an inventory of items that are intended to be left behind when selling the property is a good idea, as it can help to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings between the previous and new owners. It is also important to leave all items that have been agreed to be sold to the new owner and to leave all fixtures as listed on the home sale document.

When it comes to disposing of rubbish, it is important to do so responsibly. This means separating recyclable materials from non-recyclable materials and disposing of them in the correct way. It is also important to dispose of hazardous waste, such as batteries and chemicals, in the appropriate manner.

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