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

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    #46
    I am not a LL or LA, so am seeing this problem purely from a neutral point of view. Could the tenant be a missing person and have come to grief ? How do you really know he's living abroad ? Seems to be just hearsay from someone who can't give specific details. Why would he leave all possessions behind, especially "pretty personal" ones ? And no contacts or next of kin ?

    Seems rather suspicious to me ! Has anyone thought of reporting this to the police ? They could check departure records and carry out other investigations.

    Everyone is very concerned about the legalities of "evicting" him, but no-one is concerned about the possibility that he is no longer alive ? If something has gone wrong the question of eviction seem rather futile.

    This is just speculation, of course ......... but ..... who knows ?
    (Maybe I just have a wild imagination).

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      #47
      Serve a 24 hour inspection notice through the door, (giving the tenant a chance to refuse entry should he wish) then LL at least has entered legally.

      Also issue Section 21 and Section 8, unfortunately a long process and the LL has to attend court. this recently happened to me.

      Because I did everything by the book and the tenant never turned up at court(because they weren't in the house to receive the court summons) the judge gave a decision in my favour which allowed me to take posession of the property that day.

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        #48
        Change the locks, photo the rooms as they are, package up all the abandoned possessions, labelled, and put them somewhere safe out of the premises and re-rent the flat. Most asts have clause about being unoccupied for more than 30 days and this would be grounds for repossession. Onoccupied for 2 months and owing rent for 7 months, with only 1m deposit - seems a good moment to grasp possession of the place ! Do everything you can to locate said person and organise possessions to be sent to them - c.o.d.
        And re-let the place asap... Times are tough and opportunties to re-let may disappear....
        I'm sure some may disapprove of these words - but what is said tenant going to do standing on such flimsy ground.

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          #49
          Originally posted by HP mum View Post
          I'm sure some may disapprove of these words - but what is said tenant going to do standing on such flimsy ground.
          Oh, I don't know; lets start with illegal eviction & trespass. I know what you're getting at, and practicalities sometimes outweigh legalities, but if the tenant should suddenly turn up the landlord is scuppered if he hasn't followed the rules.
          My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

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            #50
            Funnily enough I had a tenant who 2 years ago left owing £2000+ in unpaid rent. He moved to the US, broke, and unable to return to the UK as I later discovered he had been in court for embezzling from his company. And he left everything in the property - from dirty socks to computer, divorce papers, photos etc. I used a US lawyer and communicated for 6 months chasing the £s but got nowhere. I advised again and again that he needed to collect possessions but had no response - other than he said his friend would collect the important things. The friend refused. I advised this and repeatedly sent emails advising I would dispose of the goods. I actually put them in my garage for 18months until I rented that property with full vacant possession and needed the space - and then the charity shops got all his possessions that could be sold by them. I just pushed the whole episode to one side. Then, just this morning, I got a letter from a solicitor saying that the said man was pursuing a legal claim for a motor accident and wanted to repay me the £s owed when he received this payment and that he wanted his possessions back !! After 2 years... I doubt I can be held liable for disposing of goods after 2 years, but I guess I will now have to take legal advice myself

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              #51
              How long must L keep belongings of departed T?

              Finally got some tenants from hell out last Tuesday, it took 8 months thanks to shelter and their constant stalling tactics and appeals, judge threw the final appeal out last Monday and the bailiffs handed the house back to us on the Tuesday, when we got in we found a Plasma tv sky+ pc etc etc. They had the council in the morning with a removal lorry to move all their belongings into storage.

              The tenant turned up 5 mins after the bailiffs left, to cut a long story short he kicked off so the police turned up, we gave him some time to move the more valuable items from the house and arranged a time latter to allow him to remove the rest of the items, now after 4 wasted trips as he hasn’t turned up and 7 days latter we have a house full of their items which are starting to smell (the house wouldn’t be a miss on the life of grime sadly).

              Where do we stand on removing the items as we want to start work asap, would prefer he moved it himself but were willing to bag it all up if it means we can get started, thanks James.

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                #52
                T vacated (rent arrears) but left own furniture

                Hi,

                I had a tenant on a standard AST, which expired so I left it rolling monthly. We had a disagreement with the tenant so served the section 21 , giving two months notice. The tenant emailed saying 2 months wasn't required, and gave me one months notice by email.

                The one month notice ended 10th Jan 2009, the tenant has left, did not take her furniture and has not handed in the keys owing about 15 days rent.She is not responding to emails, phone calls or texts.

                Questions : What do I do with the tenant's furniture that has been left behind ? I've advised her by email and text that if it isn't moved immediately I'll have it removed at her cost ( she left one months rent as bond but hasn't claimed it).

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                  #53
                  What do we do with uncollected goods?

                  Hi, this is my first post so apologies in advance if it is a bit muddled! Basically, the tenant left the property suddenly without giving notice. She had however paid her rent in full. That was a month ago and she still hasn't returned to collect some of her things (beds, toys etc). She wouldn't give a forwarding address but we have managed to acquire it and have contacted her. She has since been to collect some of her things and said she would be back but won't be tied to when. We have now moved her things to the garage and locked it. We don't know what to do next. Most of the things are in poor condition, but some of the furniture, and baby gear (highchairs etc) could be given to charity. What we don't want to happen is get rid of it all and then she will come back for it and kick up a big fuss. She has already made a massive fuss about us finding a home for her abandoned fishtank full of fish (she wants us to pay her for it!)
                  Also, although she had paid up to date with rent, she didn't give notice and also she has taken several items from the house that did not belong to her (double mattress, hoover etc).
                  I would love to know legally how long we need to store her items for? (It's been a month already) What sort of notice do we have to give? (have been communicating by text, but should we send a letter now we have an address?) We really want to clear the garage out so we can let new tenants move in and the garage is full to bursting with 'stuff'.
                  Sorry to waffle, but wanted to give the complete picture.
                  Any advice very welcome. Thanks

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                    #54
                    Did you have nothing in your agreement with the tenants with regards to this? about the only thing our agents did right was have it drawn into the initial agreement that once we gave notice to the ex tenants that they had left belongings we only had to give them 14 days notice before disposing of it

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                      #55
                      I sugest amending your tenancy agreements! Mine states...

                      The LL may remove, store, sell or otherwise dispose of any furniture or goods which the T refuses or fails to remove from the property within 30 days of the vacate date. The T shall be responsible for all reasonable costs which the LL mar incur. The LL shall be entitled to deduct such costs and any monies lawfully due to the LL from any realised from the disposal of such furniture or goods.

                      You should have explained to the T that until goods are removed you wil hold on to the deposit. (I alays tell T I will release the deposit by cheque so they MUST supply a forwarding address)

                      When goods are removed I will hand over the deposit. If not removed after 30 days I pass them to a charity shop charge a handleing fee for my time removing gods & driving them to charity shop &/or take goods to ocal dump & charge the same handleing fee from there deposit

                      I make shure I ake pictures of all rooms with goods still in them so they can be compared to the before they moved in pictures to help with any disputes. It also stops them saying they left an original Mona Lisa HA HA!

                      Hope that helps?

                      Marc

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                        #56
                        Thanks for such speedy replies! No we didn't have it in the agreement but definetly will do in future!!! Have looked at the link on this site about uncollected goods, but not really sure where we stand re being owed money as rent was paid, but some of our goods have been taken!?

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                          #57
                          some of our goods have been taken!?
                          Sounds like theft to me...

                          Entirely different and unrelated to rent/deposit/stuff left... but talk to ex-tenant first if possible as there may be a simple misunderstanding...

                          Cheers!

                          Lodger
                          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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                            #58
                            Can I hold onto Furniture

                            Hi. I have a lodger who has some personal furniture stored in my garage.
                            I have just given the lodger one months notice. I know she is going to withhold her Rent.
                            I have a small deposit but I know there will be carpet cleaning & the room will need repainting so if I offset deposit from rent will have to pay for damages from my own pocket.
                            Can I legally refuse to return her furniture until she pays her outstanding rent?
                            Many thanks.

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                              #59
                              Abandonment but left property behind

                              My tenant said verbally she was moving but has left a few bags of clothes behind and keeps saying she is coming to collect them.

                              I have been advised to change the locks, but I am not satisfied she has left. I do not wanted to clean the place up only to find she insists the tenancy has not yet ended.

                              At the moment it is not fit for habitation. I am sure she would like it cleaned and her damage repaired at my expense.

                              How long before I can relet? She told the agent verbally she was moving out. Is that good enough?

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                                #60
                                Originally posted by citizenz View Post
                                At the moment it is not fit for habitation. I am sure she would like it cleaned and her damage repaired at my expense.
                                If you have a detailed check-in inventory showing that the place was spotless and in excellent repair when she moved in, why can you not claim the cleaning and repair costs from her deposit?


                                Originally posted by citizenz View Post
                                How long before I can relet? She told the agent verbally she was moving out. Is that good enough?
                                No, it's not enough. Tread carefully. Has she returned keys, put anything in writing? If not, you will have to follow te due process (notice requiring possession, etc) - you cannot just go in and reclaim possession.
                                '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

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