Ex-tenant belongings.

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    Ex-tenant belongings.

    Have I taken reasonable steps here?

    Tenant abandoned the property on 3rd Nov. She left loads of rubbish and unwanted belongings but confirmed in a text that the tools in a shed were her ex-boyfriends. These include a cheap chainsaw and several boxes of old tools which are related to his job.
    I asked for an address to drop them off, telephone number, asked her to pass my number onto him but she just kept saying she would tell him to collect. She eventually said he would collect them at 0730hrs on 14th Nov and I should leave them at the top of the front garden by the gate. The property is empty so I got up at 0630hrs to go to the property and pile the tools up. I messaged to confirm they were ready to be collected. He did not collect and it's now 2 weeks later and they are still there (I'm surprised a scrapman hasn't picked them up). In my last text I told her I had to keep them for 21 days and after the 26th Nov I would be disposing of them. She then claims that he is now isolating after mixing with a colleague who has covid.
    The woman is a compulsive liar and has barely spoken a true word to me in 10yrs. I know she is living with the ex-partner and likely very close to the property so I can't understand why they haven't picked the tools up.
    I've agreed to sell the property and it should be complete within 3 weeks. Do I have to retain the tools after that?
    ​​​​

    #2
    I thought you said that after you left them out for collection at the agreed date/time they have now gone.
    (If BF didn't pick them up then possibly later been taken by a scrapman/thief, not your problem you did as agreed).

    Read between the lines; you left them out for collection at an agreed time, they went, you no longer have them.

    If BF wants to report the theft of his tools to the police then let him justify why he didn't collect them at the agreed time.

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      #3
      Oh yes that is a quite possible outcome but I just want this resolved.
      ​​I'm conscious that the property is vulnerable as its empty, and they also know my home address. I don't want any chew but I also don't want to be running around after her.

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        #4
        I'd give her 48 hours to collect, or send somebody round to collect, and that after that you'll be assuming she doesn't want them and that you'll taking them to the tip.

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          #5
          There is no prescribed time for being "reasonable" when dealing with another's belongings, it falls under the interference with goods tort. As long as you can prove you acted reasonably and made reasonable efforts to return the goods, then you'd have a solid defence if any proceedings were brought.

          It sounds like you've done a lot of it already, but you're playing to her timeframes, which isn't good. Here's what I did:

          1. Wrote a letter to the ex-tenant listing all the goods to be collected, informed them of where to collect them (I put them in a storage facility for £60 - I didn't want them anywhere near my Property again), and provide a timeframe for collection - I gave 28 days.
          2. When that time passed, I wrote to them again giving them 7 days to collect the goods or they will be disposed of in landfil.
          3. When that time passed, I landfilled the lot and wrote to the ex-tenant telling them the goods have now been removed

          Keep records of all correspondence, keep proof of sending, and give them timeframes, don't ask "when can you" etc.

          Bear in mind, they'd have to bring a claim for interference with goods against you privately, there's no legal aid for that. They'd have to prove that the goods were there, the value of those items, and that you neglected your duty of care for them - which if you've been sensible (and even if you weren't), they likely could not.

          On the balance of probabilities, I doubt they'd sue you for a £60 chainsaw and bags of rubbish.

          It's funny, when I later went to Court the Judge laughed and said "I can't believe you paid for storage for this person..."

          Comment


            #6
            Google landlordzone uncollected goods . Good article.

            What does THAT tenancy agreement state about uncollected goods,
            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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