Disposing of tenant's girlfriend's possessions

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    Disposing of tenant's girlfriend's possessions

    My tenant signed a 6 month AST on March 19 in his name only with a relative acting as guarantor. The tenant's girlfriend also moved in but chose not to be included on the AST.
    The tenant asked to end the agreement after only 2 months because their relationship had broken down and the girlfriend was attracting very unsavoury people to the house. Both the tenant and his girlfriend left the house immediately (to separate addresses) leaving behind furniture and personal possessions and the guarantor paid the third month's rent up to June 18.
    With their agreement I changed the locks because of the unpleasant friends who had been allowed access to the house and only one of two sets of keys was returned to me.
    I agreed with the guarantor that I would not hold him to paying the full 6 months if I could re-let the house and if the girlfriend removed all the furniture and other belongings. The tenant had taken what he needed from the house and said he didn't want anything else as it belonged to the girlfriend.
    I have new tenants lined up who want to move in as soon as possible after June 19.
    Meanwhile the girlfriend has not turned up on the date she said she would to remove her belongings and although I have spoken to her on the phone I have a feeling she won't get herself organised before the 18 June.
    The guarantor and tenant have agreed that I can dispose of the furniture for a fee (slightly less that quotes given by local removal companies) which will be deducted from their deposit.
    I plan to do this after 18 June as I just want to draw a line under the tenancy and start afresh.
    My question is will I lay myself open to being sued by the girlfriend if I dispose of her possessions even though she is not on the tenancy agreement?
    Will email correspondance with the guarantor agreeing to this course of action cover me in the event of difficulties with the girlfriend?
    Many thanks for advice offered.

    #2
    I feel sorry for your tenant, just be glad that you have a guarantor and that he has paid you.

    You should always change locks, this is not only for your protection but also for your new tenants protection. If I was your tenant, I would be cheesed off if the old tenants walked in. And who do you think they would blame if yoru new tenant's stuff was stolen?

    You should give a formal letter to both your tenant and guarantor that you will be disposing of the items, as they have agreed to terminate the tenancy early and that if they want the items stored that they should make arrangements for it. In your letter state reasonable access times and also confirm that you are in receipt of the key.

    You could sell or give away the furniture, much better then ending up in landfills.
    Last edited by rajeshk4u; 12-06-2008, 11:46 AM. Reason: typos

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your reply.

      If I write to the tenant and his guarantor to confirm that I intend to dispose of the furniture after 18 June and they agree that I can do so am I liable for any comeback from the girlfriend? Although she claims the furniture belongs to her she does not appear on the agreeement and I have no documents to show that she ever lived there.

      I have read some advice in other threads about uncollected goods but can't see an answer about disposal of stuff that belongs to someone not on the tenancy agreement.

      I don't intend to put everything in landfill - I will either give the stuff away to charity, leave anything in the house that the next tenants can use or give it away to other households who can make use of it.

      Many thanks again for your replies and advice.

      Comment


        #4
        See http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ad.php?t=11789, and the 1977 Act.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          So, Jeffrey, am I right in thinking that it doesn't matter that the g/friend wasn't a named tenant - she is still covered by the law as a bailee?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by bagpuss View Post
            So, Jeffrey, am I right in thinking that it doesn't matter that the g/friend wasn't a named tenant - she is still covered by the law as a bailee?
            You mean "bailor".
            1. BAILOR is owner of goods.
            2. BAILEE is person with custody or control of goods.
            3. Bailee's rights do not stem from landlordship. As the other thread explains, I use L and T as the most relevant and likely shorthand descriptions- but the Act applies to any bailee/bailor, irrespective of whether there is an L/T relationship too.
            4. So girl is capable of being bailor, just as much as T is.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


              #7
              I see, thaks for the clarification Jeffrey.

              Sorry about the bailor/ee mistake.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                The link is now http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...read.php?t=201
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment

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