Time limit on holding Lodger's possessions ?

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    Time limit on holding Lodger's possessions ?

    A query here - how long does a Landlord have to safeguard a Lodger's possessions for ?
    Not a tenant, no AST, just email agreement to pay said £s/weekly in short term only.
    A lodger owes rent and disappears abroad. LL appoints lawyer abroad but lodger still refuses to pay rent arrears. After 3 months, Lodger advises he understands if LL sells his goods. After 7 months of legal wrangling and getting nowhere, LL accepts a rental with full vacant possession of the property. LL advises Lodger of this. Lodger advises a friend will collect his personal belongings - the friend refuses. The possessions are disposed of and this reported back to lodger. 15 months after disposal of goods, a UK lawyer writes to LL saying client - the lodger - wishes to pay debt as he is attempting to make a (dubious) insurance claim against a driver in a road accident 3 years ago and if successful he wishes to pay his debt. However, he wants his possessions back. UK lawyer now suggests lodger will put in claim in UK courts against LL for disposal of possessions - 2 years after leaving said premises.
    Can Lodger successfully sue LL after such a period ?
    LL has all email correspondence from Lodger & lawyer.

    #2
    FGS! Two years have passed since lodger lived in your home. He clearly does not want the stuff. Get rid!

    If one of my lodgers did not pay their rent even after one week - they are out of my home. Period.

    Comment


      #3
      Poppy - I agree. But since LL has received letter from UK lawyer advising lodger will pursue LL through courts - then LL has to take this situation seriously. After 2 years to lodge a claim is ridiculous - but lawyer is advising lodger to do this. This is why I wish to know if there is a time limit?

      Comment


        #4
        For more info - the lodger is the kind of person who is broke, old, and is making a living out of such claims. Which is why I take it seriously...

        Comment


          #5
          The landlord's first mistake was permitting the lodger's rent to remain unpaid for more than a week. The second mistake (if I've understood your post) is to employ a solicitor to chase the lodger for payment abroad.

          Why hasn't the landlord asked the solicitor if there is a time limit? They're being paid for their knowledge and expertise after all.

          Comment


            #6
            LL was owed 3 weeks rent, lodger went abroad and asked LL to keep room for lodgers sole occupance for 3-4 weeks more. Lodger never came back. Lawyer was appointed abroad as that was where lodger was then resident. Lawyer and LL gave up pursuing lodger after 7 months. Lodger had given property as his address, despite being only temp lodger, and LL was getting debt collectors letters/bailiffs arriving for lodger's debts (in excess of £20k) It also became apparent that Lodger was in High court for evasion of vat and embezzling from company up to £1m - and was not going to return to UK. WIth such debts, debt to LL was bottom of lodger's pile.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by HP mum View Post
              For more info - the lodger is the kind of person who is broke, old, and is making a living out of such claims. Which is why I take it seriously...
              You say "Not a tenant, no AST, just email agreement to pay said £s/weekly in short term only"

              Then he has no rights anymore.

              Just tell the solicitors that he had no contract, and no contract to store possessions in your house. You stored possessions for 15 months at £ 40 per month, he owes you this, plus unpaid rent.

              Tell the solicitor that if ex Lodger can't even manage to pay for the rent owing, that he will not be able to pay his solicitors fees.

              Send solicitors copies of debt collectors letters etc etc

              If me, I would say " I look forward to receiving your court papers, which of course you know will be eventualy be dismissed, as he was a lodger, not a tenant, I did not agree for him to use my house as an unauthorised storage facility once he had left. His belongings were here for him to collect for 15 months, and they were not collected, so they were thrown out, and also so as to not accrue further storage costs, which would now be £1000.
              Your client has already been in our High court for evasion of v.a.t. and embezzling from company up to £1m"

              Don't spend any more on solicitors ....... as far as i can see, you are in the right, unless others wish to say otherwise, regarding Lodgers ( no contract / no AST )

              R-a-M

              Comment


                #8
                I don't get involved with lodgers or sharers at all so I'm open to being corrected on this, but surely landlords must have some sort of agreement when they do this sort of thing? do people really still do this based on a word and a handshake?

                What ever you do please don't follow rams advice to send the letters to the plaintiffs solicitor - offering them evidence that you've interfered with the plaintiffs mail will really not help matters as they'll almost certainly pass it on the the Royal Mail who take a very dim view of people who do that!
                My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by oaktree View Post
                  offering them evidence that you've interfered with the plaintiffs mail will really not help matters as they'll almost certainly pass it on the the Royal Mail who take a very dim view of people who do that!
                  See http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ad.php?t=14438

                  all about WHY you should always open letters.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    see http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/en/00en26-b.htm

                    All about WHY you shouldn't open other peoples letters

                    to save you time go straight to Section 84 - telling the plaintiffs solicitor that his client has been to the High Court, obviously in the hope that might make them drop his case, is to the plaintiffs detriment.
                    My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by ram View Post
                      See http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ad.php?t=14438

                      all about WHY you should always open letters.

                      And this is why you should not:
                      http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ghlight=crikey
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by oaktree View Post
                        see http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/en/00en26-b.htm
                        All about WHY you shouldn't open other peoples letters
                        go straight to Section 84 - .
                        And why you should , as the rules state
                        "an offence if persons intentionally delay or open postal packets without reasonable excuse" is the phase.

                        The reasonable excuses are that I HAVE debt letters come to a property in my name, my address, in the name of tenants at another flat.

                        I am not prepared to have debt collectors knocking on MY door, telling me I am a liar, and am in fact the absconded tenant. So you open the letter to give the information required to the debt collectors, to stop the harrassment from debt collectors.

                        No debt collector has ever sued me for opening their letter and advising them of the circumstances, and are happy to receive that infomation. Some times they say they will not talk to me if I am not the person the letter was sent to, but I make them listen, and resolve the problem.

                        I am not prepared to have tenants rights to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of their flat ( as is required by law ) by debt collectors knocking on Their door, telling them they are liars, as to their name.

                        So I assume all letting agents subject the replacement tenants to this abuse and harrasment because of the previous tenants illegal activities --- and Letting agents will do nothing to protect tenants rights to peaceful and quiet enjoyment.

                        Shame on all letting agents.

                        Originally posted by oaktree View Post
                        telling the plaintiffs solicitor that his client has been to the High Court, obviously in the hope that might make them drop his case, is to the plaintiffs detriment.
                        Maybe so. So it's illegal to tell the truth ? But it is then on record for the judge, because if you don't tell him, no one else will !! ( Make sure you have concrete evidence though !! )

                        R-a-M

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Ok - well from reading the above links, the law seems pretty tight on not opening post.

                          But...what about if the LL is a bit more clever.
                          Perhaps letters have been accidently opened, but of course the LL now knows he should not divulge that info...
                          So, for example, the LL has a pile of un-opened letters from companies chasing the lodger for debts. A letter could be written and put in an envelope, with the original un-opened letter inside, addressed to original sender, advising of the new lawyers details for the addressee...
                          In this way the new UK lawyer gets to deal with a pile of companies chasing new client in an unexpected way and I guess that the lodger might feel a little bit overwhelmed with the turn of events and potential extra loss of £s...

                          Just a thought.
                          (LL trying to regain ground seemingly lost today by ex-lodger's reappearance ....)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by HP mum View Post
                            Ok - well from reading the above links, the law seems pretty tight on not opening post.

                            But...what about if the LL is a bit more clever.
                            Perhaps letters have been accidently opened, but of course the LL now knows he should not divulge that info...
                            So, for example, the LL has a pile of un-opened letters from companies chasing the lodger for debts. A letter could be written and put in an envelope, with the original un-opened letter inside, addressed to original sender, advising of the new lawyers details for the addressee...
                            In this way the new UK lawyer gets to deal with a pile of companies chasing new client in an unexpected way and I guess that the lodger might feel a little bit overwhelmed with the turn of events and potential extra loss of £s...

                            Just a thought.
                            (LL trying to regain ground seemingly lost today by ex-lodger's reappearance ....)
                            Given that lawyers will only accept instructions from their clients, why would he/she respond to letters about the client from third party creditors? Lawyers are not accountants. Surely the creditors would have to instruct their solicitors to serve some sort of notice on the debtor, to which the debtor would have to instruct his solicitor to respond?
                            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ram View Post
                              The reasonable excuses are that I HAVE debt letters come to a property in my name, my address, in the name of tenants at another flat.
                              How do you know they are debt letters without opening them?

                              Comment

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