2007_05_arts_move.jpgEveryone has abandoned an air conditioner or left condiments in the fridge when rushing to move out of an apartment. The NY Times goes behind closed doors to find out what is most commonly left behind when people move out.

Surprisingly, most landlords don't take from the security deposit for cleanup of moldy bathtubs, grimy counter tops and left behind items. Instead they are cleaned by a superintendent, who is free to take any leftover goods in the apartment. And what's usually left?

“We find a lot of handcuffs, always under the sink,” said Adam Goldstein, an owner of a 244-unit prewar rental building on West 72nd Street near Central Park where the tenant population skews toward single young professionals.

Another downtown bachelor sold his $2 million apartment but neglected to remove a three-foot-high stack of adult magazines and a shelf full of flavored body oils, said Stephen S. Perlo, a senior vice president of the Corcoran Group, who added: “I assured my client all this would be taken out, of course. And he said, ‘Oh, no, I love this — I have to replenish my supply.’ His eyes kind of lit up at everything that was there.

There's also the matter of what's left behind in the medicine cabinets. When a woman bought a 2-bedroom for $3M in the Upper East Side, the elderly tenant who previously owned it left behind her dentures and some meds.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to get rid of all this,’ ” Mr. Perlo recalled. “And she said, ‘Yes, but the Valium you can leave.’ ” Mr. Perlo demurred, to which his client responded, “ ‘You’re a full-service broker, aren’t you?’ ” (Mr. Perlo won’t say how the discussion ended.)

Ah, another part of the vast underbelly of New York real estate...handcuffs and valium. The Times also goes in to what happens when more personal items are left behind, with the story of a previous tenant pieced together by scraps of paper. Of course, if you're TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, you leave behind something perhaps a little too personal: a cd of Karen O's home recordings.