landlord has destroyed my belongings before end of tenancy

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    landlord has destroyed my belongings before end of tenancy

    I've recently moved out of my old flat, however my tenancy was contracted and paid for until the 20th december. I've been moving my stuff out in stages, and had also booked and paid for professional cleaners to come on the 19th, the day before my tenancy ended.

    Today my partner went to get some of the stuff we still had to move, only to find that the landlord has been in, and taken all of my remaining possessions, and had their own professional cleaners in. I was given no notice for this whatsoever. Most of my stuff had been binned and taken when the bins were emptied, and what remained was destroyed by the wet weather. Included in the stuff that was taken was a folder containing my old passport, bank statements and all my pension documentation amongst other financial and legal docs.

    I was hoping on some advice as to what rights I have here and how to proceed?

    #2
    Sounds like illegal eviction, theft and criminal damage to me, all matters for the police.

    You also have a civil case.

    I'd suggest contacting Shelter and/or the CAB.

    Comment


      #3
      Agreed.

      But I suggest you start by contacting the landlord and asking for an explanation.
      Presumably you had discussed the termination with him? Did you say anything to make him think you were moving out earlier?

      Comment


        #4
        I'd suggest a solicitor, rather than shelter or the CAB.
        Itemise everything you can think of that you have lost and give it an approximate value.

        Do you have insurance on your possessions?
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Hmm. Well someone must have given the landlord the impression you had moved out. Did you return the keys?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by JK0 View Post
            Hmm. Well someone must have given the landlord the impression you had moved out. Did you return the keys?
            no not yet, check out and key handover was scheduled for friday 20th when my contract ends

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              I'd suggest a solicitor, rather than shelter or the CAB.
              Itemise everything you can think of that you have lost and give it an approximate value.

              Do you have insurance on your possessions?
              unfortunately no I don't have insurance on them

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by clunaire View Post

                no not yet, check out and key handover was scheduled for friday 20th when my contract ends
                So your landlord illegally evicted you 4 days before you were going to move out willingly? Would love to know what he thinks he's up to!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by HemelPlumbster View Post

                  Agreed.

                  But I suggest you start by contacting the landlord and asking for an explanation.
                  Presumably you had discussed the termination with him? Did you say anything to make him think you were moving out earlier?
                  The letting agent knew I'd already started moving out, but by no means did it mean that I'd finished doing so, and the checkout and key return was booked for friday 20th

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by HemelPlumbster View Post

                    So your landlord illegally evicted you 4 days before you were going to move out willingly? Would love to know what he thinks he's up to!
                    So would I! He's yet to reply to explain himself or his actions!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by clunaire View Post

                      The letting agent knew I'd already started moving out, but by no means did it mean that I'd finished doing so, and the checkout and key return was booked for friday 20th
                      Have been in contact with the landlord directly? If you've been dealing with the landlord only via a letting agent then maybe there's been some miscommunication between themselves?

                      I suggest you try emailing both the agent and the landlord (in the same email) and see what the response is. If all sides are copied in on the same communication there's less scope for blaming each other. My guess is he'll say he though the agent told him you'd already gone.

                      Do you have a clear paper trail (emails are fine) about when you agreed to leave? Otherwise there's a lot of scope for finger-pointing and lawyers making money off everyone.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Maybe the letting agent has made a mistake? Mistakenly given the impression to the landlord that the tenant has moved out!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Even if the landlord thought I'd left, surely the fact I'd paid for the flat until the 20th, was contracted until then, had check-out and key return booked for friday and still had stuff there are all clear reasons to make his actions unacceptable? And even if that were the case, I don't think legally he has any right to remove and destroy my stuff?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by HemelPlumbster View Post
                            Do you have a clear paper trail (emails are fine) about when you agreed to leave? Otherwise there's a lot of scope for finger-pointing and lawyers making money off everyone.
                            The landlord needs the paper trail.
                            The tenancy continues until it is ended and there are very limited ways a tenancy can end.

                            And, even if the tenancy had ended, the landlord can't simply dispose of things that tenants leave behind.
                            They have to make reasonable efforts to contact the tenant and to arrange for the tenant to collect the items (it's called being an involuntary bailee).

                            I'd expect the landlord to be the one paying out.


                            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Even if the landlord genuinely believed there had been a surrender, they would still have to a duty care for the tenant's belongings, and would need to given them reasonable notice before destroying anything, or putting it in a position where the elements might destroy it (and pay any net profit on disposal).

                              To whom, and how, was the fact that the property would be unoccupied communicated, or did the landlord just see it appearing to be empty?

                              Comment

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