Can I take previous tenants furniture?

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    Can I take previous tenants furniture?

    The landlord asked if we wanted the sofa removed since it wasn't advertised as being part of the flat since it belonged to the previous tenant. We said we would keep it. The tenant moved out a year ago so there is zero expectation of him reclaiming the sofa. He left it because he didn't want it. We are now moving out and the landlord hasn't replied to us in over 6 days and the move out date is approaching.

    Does this sofa now belong to the landlord? He said at the start of the tenancy that he didn't expect the previous tenant to leave the sofa so he would remove it if we wanted so the previous tenant didn't give him the sofa (unless law says that it being left in his property for 12 months makes it his now). What are the consequences of us removing previous tenants sofa (not part of the inventory) without the landlords permission?

    #2
    A bit of a tricky one. Have you got what the landlord said when you moved in in writing? If so, exactly what was said?

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      #3
      We have an email that asks if we want to keep the sofa. I will try and find it now since the wording is important.

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        #4
        Politely decline and firmly require it to be removed. Keep evidence of those requests and photos of sofa in case of any police involvement
        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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          #5
          If you are moving out and remove anythng that does not belong to you, there are pitfalls.
          you do not have authorisation to remove the sofa, as of today -- do you ?
          Therefore i would not remove it until authorised,

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            #6
            ram,

            But it also does not belong to the landlord? It belongs to a previous tenant that has left it. The landlord was going to remove it from the property if we didn't want it. The email we received from the agent a year ago stated:

            " The landlord of the apartment has asked if you would like the sofa that is in the property leaving or if you have your own?" So he was going to remove it a year ago even though it didn't belong to him? How is it any different if we remove it since both us and the landlord do not own said sofa.

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              #7
              Unless it's a very expensive sofa in excellent condition, it's probably not worth taking with you. Removal costs are probably more than it's worth.

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                #8
                My dad is renting a van to move everything at the cost of £150 so not too bad. Although the sofa is used, it looks like it retails for about £900 and its very comfy.

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                  #9
                  I don't think he gave it to you, it asks if you would like it there so you could use it. Chances are the LL doesn't want it so why not ask him if you can take it with you? If it isn't in the inventory he can't claim it from your deposit but better to agree if you can. As it was abandoned in the LLs property it was his responsibility to dispose of it.

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                    #10
                    My issue is it has been awhile with no response. I don't even know if he can give it to us since its not his to give, right? However, its been 12 months so he has a RIGHT to dispose of it. I think we can take it without a response and nothing can be done legally however ethically its a grey area and would like to end things nicely.

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                      #11
                      JohnMM96,

                      I think that is probably just about right.

                      I think we can say that:

                      · After the lapse of time the previous tenant can be deemed to have abandoned the sofa.

                      · The email referred to above confirms that the landlord did not want the sofa.

                      · The sofa was not the landlord's anyway.

                      If the landlord or previous tenant claims the sofa tell them it's theirs to come and collect.

                      Ethically, I see this as in the very lightest shade of grey.

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                        #12
                        I had premises which were rented out, the tenant left owing money. But left an expensive Pony Trap. I sold the premises with the Trap still there. The premises have since been sold at Auction and the Trap is still there. Its now 3 years. I am friends with the present tenants who ar looking after the Trap for me. Sods law says that if I sell it for £250 the ex-tenant will want the Trap back.
                        Going back a long time, We had a car which we repaired and the bill was more than the car was worth so the owner did not come back to pay for it. A solicitors advice at the time was to put an advert in the local paper saying something like If the owner of car reg does not come in and pay for it within 2 weeks it will be sold to defray expenses." You have to be so careful when dealing with other peoples property. I would leave it there let the landlord deal with it.

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                          #13
                          Most of the stuff left behind has negative value. Worst of all is when the y lea ve it outside! Legal advice costs more than refuse collection.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Piffy View Post
                            Sods law says that if I sell it for £250 the ex-tenant will want the Trap back.
                            You would be holding the £250 on trust for the ex-tenant - probably for a maximum of 6 years.
                            So, if they asked for it, you could simply hand over the £250.
                            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).

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                              #15
                              The alternative viewpoint is that the sofa is not on the inventory, the OP accepted it when the landlord offered it to him, so it's now the OP's property... therefore if he leaves it behind, the landlord could stick him with a disposal charge? Just sayin'...

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