'Blown away': Tradie's kind act after $5,000 find in new house

A tradesman is being praised for doing the right thing and handing over an envelope full of cash, after finding it at a home he was working on.

The man from the US explained he was working on a job at a home when he found US$4000 (A$5167) in an envelope, stashed in an air vent.

The honest tradie told the homeowners about the money, who were apparently "blown away" after recently buying the house.

People were quick to praise the man for his honesty when he shared his find in a Facebook group about strange discoveries in walls, after he returned the money to the new home owners.

"Kudos to you for being honest and giving it to them," one person wrote in the comments.

An envelope containing a large wad of cash. Source: Facebook
A tradie came across US$4000 in an envelope, hidden in an air vent. Source: Facebook

"Thank you for doing the right thing and giving it to the homeowners," someone else said.

"I hope your kindness comes back to you."

Others suggested handing over the money was the right thing to do, in case there were hidden cameras set up as a test, while others said they hoped the new owners gave the tradie some of the loot.

"Someday, I hope I'm rich enough, or even just financially stable enough to forget about my envelope with $4000 cash that I hid," another person said.

What should you do if you find money in a new home?

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, CEO of Real Estate Institute of NSW, Tim McKibbin, said giving the money back to the previous owners in an instance like this is more of a "moral" issue.

He explains people will do their due diligence when buying a property, doing inspections to ensure nothing bad is found on the property, as would the sellers, to make sure they aren't leaving behind anything valuable.

"When you buy a house, you buy everything that is on the property," Mr McKibbin said.

He explains if a new homeowner was to find something on their property that is valuable, after everything is signed off on, it's very much a "case-by-case" sort of deal.

"It really would depend on the circumstances, but you know we're talking about money, and that's a liquid asset," Mr McKibbin said.

He didn't believe previous homeowners leaving behind cash to be quite common for home buyers, though there would be many instances where people inadvertently leave behind valuable items.

What if valuables are left in a rental property?

However, leaving behind money can occur in the rental market — though landlords do have different obligations there.

"People will often just leave a (rental) property, and they'll leave behind, things like the passport, and various other very important documents and money," he explains.

"The landlord is obligated under the tenancy agreement to gather all of that up, and make a serious attempt to try and find the previous tenant and to reunite them with all of the possessions."

Mr McKibbin explained the importance of inspecting a home for a final time before purchasing it, to ensure the new owners know exactly what they are getting with the home.

"There are differences though, between things that are fixed to the property and things that just sit on it," he explained, adding things like like chandeliers and TV antennas could be disputed.

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