Abandonment of T's uncollected goods; disposal by L?

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    A property lawyer who I work with has said the following and I was wondering if anyone could comment?:

    "Basically if you can reasonably think they've abandoned it, you can get rid of it. If it's expensive stuff, you're safest serving a formal notice (which I can find for you) and then sticking it on ebay or something and offering her the money, but if it's just a load of junk I would write to her again saying that you believe it has been abandoned and intend to dispose of it unless she contacts you by x date."

    The ex-lodger has contacted me, although she still hasn't collected her belongings - which I have given her two dates to collect by.

    Any comments apprecaited. Thanks.


      tenant has left the property but has left some belongings


      My tenant decided to do a runner today and left the property in a hurry. He took most of his belongings but left some items. His contract expires on Fri and he left me all the keys and about 2000GBP worth of damage. His deposit does not cover the costs and his withheld rent for the last month.

      Can I legally dispose of his items? I am assuming he won't be coming back to collect since he will have no way of entering the property. What is my legal position?

      Also I am thinking about getting some form of compensation from the agent that recommended him in the first place. He has been a total nightmare. They said he was ideal blah blah blah and passed all the credit checks etc. He was OK for the 1st year but then things started to go wrong during the S21 two month notice period. He started to break furniture, put holes in walls etc. Do I have a case against the agent? They are keeping quiet and said they are not responsible.

      Any advice appreciated. Thanks.


        You need to be CERTAIN that he has given the property up as he may be laying a trap for you.
        Did he hand you the keys or just leave them at the property?

        With regards to his belongings, you have an obligation to store these ( at his cost ) for 90 days.


          All the keys I gave him were left in the property and they are special high security ones which have to be specially ordered and cannot be replicated in a normal high street store. So I am certain that he has not got copies.

          Doesn't the expired contract and the fact he has already left signal that he has given up the property? ie Can I take it over after the contract has expired?

          I doubt I will be able to recover the costs for storage from him since he has not bothered to give me a forwarding address or new telephone number.






              Thanks for the links.

              Once the S21 has expired do I still have the right to re-let the property or do I still need a PO?

              Regarding his few items left behind is it correct to say that if I stored them for 3 months and the items are not collected has I dispose of them?



                The T has not given me a forwarding address to contact him. He has also changed his contact number. So I am assuming he doesn't want to be contacted.


                  Thank you!

                  Does the bailor have the right to complain if the amount raised by the sale of his/her goods was a lot less than he/she believed them to be worth?

                  Or can the bailee dispose of them in the most convenient way possible, even if this does not produce much money, and the bailor has to lump it?
                  Last edited by mind the gap; 18-07-2008, 20:52 PM. Reason: error
                  '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


                    Occupants leave belongings after vacating property?

                    We finally managed to get some justice in our battle against the dreadful "permitted occupiers" thanks to the members of this site.

                    The court gave us immediate possession of the property, however the occupiers (not tenants) are still there. We have been given a date by the bailiffs for 14th August, however I just wanted to know what happens if when we get full possession of the property, the occupants personal belongings are still there?

                    I was advised by someone that I don't have the right to remove their personal belongings as this is their property and I could get done for criminal damage, theft etc...

                    What rights do I have as the Landlord after the Bailiffs have given me possession with regards to ex-occuppier's property?

                    Do I need to write to them to explain that they must take all their belongings with them before vacating the property?



                      Evicted tenant's belongings remain- what's L's liability?

                      My tenant was evicted by high court bailiffs with apparent complete surprise to himself, despite being given a week's notice, and despite this happening after nearly nine months of not paying rent and county court judgement in my favour as landlord way back in May.

                      This left the property full of their belongings as they had made no effort to move from the premises despite all the months of advance warning that this was going to occur.

                      Eventually the court made an order for the tenant's girlfriend and helpers to have re-access to the property between 10am and 5pm on Sunday with the actual tenant explicitly barred from attending due to prior behavior. They were given this order more than two weeks before the actual date arranged for removal, so had plenty of time to organise.

                      This went smoothly until the end of the day when the tenant turned up, despite the order against him, with him realising that they had not arranged enough transport for all their belongings which were starting to pile up on the street (under the steam of the tenant's girlfriend's helpers).

                      Despite there only being a few items still left in my property (2 desks, one mattress and three miscellaneous boxes) he stormed into the building and up to the second floor, and started getting very abusive and threatening to my sister in law who was overseeing events in my absence.

                      Not only did he refuse to let anything else leave my flat, he also threw one of their office chairs at her at the internal entrance of my flat which hit her square in the leg. At that point she said she was going to call the police and he promptly legged it.

                      She has since reported this as assault to the police, however in the meantime I've put the remaining items out into the common area with various other items that they didn't collect at the time and let them know they can come and get them any time they like before friday when they will be disposed of by a clearance firm.

                      All I've had in return in is a garbled message saying that the tenant will prosecute me for disposing of non distrainable goods that he values at over £10,000. This despite the fact that it's obvious none of these worn bits of furniture are worth any more than £100 at the very least.

                      Anyway, my question is, when I have the clearance people finally remove these items tomorrow, just how much do I need to worry about these ridiculous threats?

                      My sister in law stayed an extra three hours extra on top of the period made by the court order as a huge show of good will and made it perfectly clear she would still stay as long as it took for them to get all their possessions out (in fact the remaining things would have only taken an extra 10 minutes to remove).

                      I've put them out with the substantial pile of belongings that they left behind in the common area, and they've had more than three days to be able to collect these at their own convenience.

                      I might also add that my tenant has been made bankrupt (from his previous landlord who he skipped out on leaving a huge unpaid rent bill behind and whom he lied to me about on his application to rent my property with a fake previous landlord's reference!) and was even claming thousands of pounds of housing benefit from the council while pleading complete poverty to me whenever I asked for rent!

                      Any opnion, considered, or not so considered, would be received very gratefully.



                        If you are unsure about what to do seek professional Legal advice.


                          Only some legal beaurocrat could have thought up such needlessly complex unfair rules that put the onus on the landlord as thanks for the thoughtlessness of this particularly stupid unpleasant tenant.
                          The law should be... Once the tenancy has ended, LL should be able to give the tenant a weeks notice to collect the items. If not collected then the LL should be able to dispose of as he sees fit. If the goods were that important to the tenant then they should have taken them when they vacated the property wouldn't they.
                          The LL should also be able to claim storage cost & for the time he had to waste. If the property was the only place he had to store the goods before disposal then he should also be owed an additional weeks rent by the T.

                          Whilst most tenants are great, Unfortunately there are a minority of tenants that seem to think rental accomodation means 'serviced appartment'. So they live there for 2 or 3 years. Don't lift a finger to clean anything. Then move out expecting me to deal with 2 or 3 years worth of dirt & unwanted items. Consequently when my tenants give me notice I now send them this message. I'm going to start incorporating this into the AST contracts so in future the tenants will know right from the outset what is req'd of them & they will have signed in agreement of the terms:-

                          "Guidelines on vacation of property

                          Thank you for giving me notice that you wish to vacate my property.
                          Please read this thoroughly.
                          For you to receive your deposit refunded in full the following conditions need to be met:

                          1) The dwelling must be completely clear of all rubbish & all your possessions.

                          2) All cupboards, wardrobes & drawers etc must be completely empty of all rubbish or unwanted items & the flat must be completely clear of all your furniture & belongings. Not so much as a can opener left behind please. No rubbish to be left anywhere outside other than in the refuse bins.
                          PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THINGS THAT YOU DO NOT WANT ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT YOU THINK THE NEXT OCCUPANT MIGHT FIND THEM USEFUL. It’s nearly always the case that people do not want it & we wind up having to dispose of it.

                          We charge £30 per hour from your deposit money if we have to spend time disposing of your rubbish or unwanted possessions.

                          We charge £30 per hour from your deposit money if we have to spend time cleaning the property.

                          Checking for cleanliness
                          Run your finger along cupboard tops & shelves, cooker hood, window frames, edges of kitchen cupboard doors, worktops, skirting boards etc. If it picks up dirt or feels sticky with grease then it’s not clean. I will also do this test to see if flat is properly clean.

                          Notes on cleaning.

                          The flat needs to be deep cleaned.

                          Deep cleans cost between £200 & £300 if contracted out to cleaners. If you clean the flat properly then we will not need to take cleaning costs from your deposit. This is our preferred option.

                          The definition of ‘Deep Clean’ means cleaning areas often overlooked. Such as moving out the fridge & washing machine & thoroughly cleaning by wiping the floor & skirting boards behind them. Lifting Microwave oven off brackets where applicable & clean brackets & back of microwave.
                          Clean/vacuum the area behind & under all your furniture & bed.
                          Toilet cleaned/descaled inside the bowl, under the rim & outside.
                          Clean all areas including behind lavatory etc.
                          Clean inside & outside of kitchen cupboards. Clean the tops of cupboards. Clean the doors. The drawer fronts, edges of drawer fronts etc.
                          Descale taps & shower hose, riser rail etc etc
                          Note: Lidl’s ‘W5 descaler’ is one of the best descalers.
                          The curtains must be dry cleaned. They will shrink if machine washed.

                          3) The flat must be cleaned including, doors, carpets, walls, skirting boards, switches, sockets, light switches, light fittings, bath, doors, mirrors, windows, showers, baths, tiles, taps, shower fittings, inside & outside of kitchen appliances, cooker & hood, inside & outside of fridge, inside of cupboards, drawers, behind cupboards, behind the bed, under the bed, behind the washing machine & fridge etc.

                          4) The flat must be free from any mildew on the walls, window frames, skirting boards, curtains etc, caused by condensation from lack of airing/heating of the flat.

                          5) The flat along with the fixtures & fittings & any furniture/appliances supplied must be undamaged.

                          6} All burned out light bulbs must be replaced with bulbs of appropriate wattage such that all the lights are working.

                          7) There must be no evidence that telephone, or computer or TV cables have been run through walls or tacked or stapled or glued or taped or fixed in anyway whatsoever to walls or architraves or skirting boards or anything else in the flat during the tenancy.

                          8) Kitchen worktops must be undamaged by hot items placed on them or food chopped on them.

                          9) Carpets must be cleaned & free from stains.

                          Please ensure your mail is redirected.
                          We do not take responsibility for forwarding mail.

                          Cleaning check list

                          1) Carpets vacuumed and free from stains and damage and cleaned.

                          2) Soft furnishings (where provided) free from dirt, dust, grease, cobwebs and stains including underneath.

                          3) Curtains dry cleaned, unshrunk & free from dirt, dust, grease, cobwebs and stains.

                          4) Curtain tracks free from dirt, dust, grease and cobwebs.

                          5) Ceilings and covings free from dirt, dust, grease and cobwebs.

                          6) Walls free from dents, scratches, mould and greasy finger marks

                          7) Lamp fittings, cables and shades free from dirt, dust, grease and cobwebs.

                          8) Light switches and electrical sockets free from dirt, dust, and greasy finger marks.

                          9) Bathroom chrome taps and shower fittings clean and shining and free from lime scale and grease.

                          10) Basin, WC & seat, underneath seat, shower door panels & tray/bath, clean, shining & free from mould, lime scale & grease.

                          11) Shower room and or bathroom tiles clean and shining and free from mould, lime scale and grease.

                          12) Tops, sides, bottoms and shelves and insides of all cupboards free from dirt, dust, grease and cobwebs.

                          13) Inside & outside of wardrobes & floor standing cupboards free from dirt, dust, grease and cobwebs.

                          14) Areas underneath beds and floor standing cupboards free from dirt, dust, grease and cobwebs.

                          15) Inside and outside of fridge and area behind free from mould, dirt, dust, grease and cobwebs.

                          16) Cooker hob, inside and outside of oven & area behind free from dirt, dust, grease and cobwebs.

                          17) Inside and outside of cooker extractor hood free from dirt, dust and grease.

                          18) Inside and outside of washing machine and area behind free from dirt, dust and grease.

                          19) Kitchen sink and worktop free from dirt, dust and grease.

                          20) Chrome kitchen taps clean and shining and free from lime scale and grease.

                          21) The walls and corners of rooms free from dirt, dust, grease and cobwebs.

                          22) Skirting boards free from dirt, dust, grease and cobwebs.

                          23) Doors, door frames, door handles, window frames & glass free from dirt, dust, grease and cobwebs.

                          24) Other nooks & crannies behind fridge washing machine etc free from dirt, dust, grease& cobwebs.

                          25) Other items not included in the list, clean and undamaged.



                            My lawyer says he would undoubtedly lose any court action given the circumstances, however as a bankrupt he could cause me to incur substantial costs defending just out of maliciousness, and although we could apply for security of costs this would not be guaranteed.

                            Sounds like I'm pretty much screwed.

                            This whole thing has been by far the worst experience of my entire life. I can't tell you how angry I get when I see my 7 months pregnant wife absolutely distraught and in floods of tears over what this guy has done to us.

                            If I'd had any idea at the start of what was going to happen once he stopped paying rent at the end of last year I don't think I would have taken the legal route to try and resolve this.


                              I have read carefully what you have put and would say that, having attended quite a few evictions over the years, one for my own properties and the others for clients:-

                              1. You don't send a woman into a situation like this where there is the slightest possibility that there will be confrontational events and the risk that, as did happen, the tenant appears. Sorry ladies but you are not equipped to deal with a situation like this unless you have backup. I always have two persons attending evictions or attendances for removal of tenants goods "double crewed" I also take where I consider it appropriate a German Shepherd Dog who will be used, under control, to make any attacker back off. If you have ever watched "bailiffs" on TV - that blond woman Sue White always goes around with a brick sh*t house on legs doesnt she?????

                              2. On the attendance of the tenant, your SIL should have made a 999 call to police immediately he appeared - the tenant could then have been arrested for breach of a court order or contempt. In any event, this should be reported back to the court for the judge to deal with as contempt of court.

                              3. You are an unwilling bailee of the goods you have put out, you still have to take care of them and deal with then under the uncollected goods, torts regulations. Store the goods in your garage, charge a weekly fee for storage, tell the tenant to arrange for his friends only to collect and if he has not collected after the prescribed time, dispose of them, by sale if they are worth anything, take your fees out and remit the rest if any to him unless there is a set-off you can use (i.e. unpaid rent) in which case apply it to that.

                              4. Your lawyer is right - the tenant would lose any court case outright - he failed to remove the goods when he was allowed to - you are giving him a second chance to remove the rest of them failing which you will store them in accordance with the law and then dispose of them as permitted by law if not collected. I will almost guarantee you won't get a summons because any decent solicitor will advise your tenant he wont win. However, not all solicitors are decent and if you do get a summons, all you have to do is defend it - produce the court order and your subsequent requests to remove the remaining goods which ultimately were dealt with in the following manner etc.

                              Stop worrying - reassure your wife and get on with your life and don't be moved from taking the legal route because if you do it any other way, you are just opening up big wide roads for the tenants solicitor to drive down as well as potentially putting yourself within risk of prosecution for unlawful acts, most of which carry prison sentences for landlords.


                                Write to the tenant by registered post or recorded delivery with a legal notice. This will notify them that the goods are available for collection and that they will be kept for up to three months.
                                I presume this is on condition of T paying all reasonable storage and removal costs incurred before these are released?

                                Also, do I have the right to demand that the substantial amount of rent arrears is also settled before releasing these goods?

                                Bear in mind T has already removed the vast majority of his possessions a under court order for access (9 hours in total) and has still left these small number of possession in my property, with rather ludicrous rants about how he can get more court orders to remove whatever he wants from the property whenever he wants, like it's some kind of free storage area he can access at his leisure!


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