Abandoned Property

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  • Abandoned Property

    I had a periodic tenant in one of my properties she stopped paying rent 5 months ago, served her with section 8 notice which came back as she didn't open the door to the postman again tried contacting her but in vain.

    Her father lives 3 doors away from her spoke to him and he advised she has gone to Spain over a year ago and is living there but will be back!!

    Months passed no rent tenant not come back or heard of, then got a call one evening from next door regarding squatters. Went to the property and realised 3 men living there, claimed someone had given them the key but didn't know who?? Any ways got rid of them and then served again an abandonement notice to which there again was no reply so therefore changed the locks.

    There were some items in the property don't know if belonged to my tenant or squatters and electricity was tampered with. The electrics wewere bypassing the meter so therefore meter was not registering the electricity used. The property was a mess inside and out. After a few weeks I had a joiner working in the property when the original tenant's father came around wanting to take some items out of the house the joiner refused as I wasn't present. The father then contacted police who escorted him in and let him take whatever he wanted from white goods to God know's what. When the joiner rang me I tried to get to the property but because I was at work it took me 30 minutes to get to the property by this time her father had taken a load of stuff which the police didn't even bother to take details of.

    I confronted the police and told them he wasn't even my tenant and I don't know if the daughter has any contact with him or has given him permission to take it and it was clearly not his property so he should have not been allowed in. The police were very arrogant saying he had one receipt to prove he bought the washing machine!!

    Can the police do this and would I be in my right to make a complaint to the Police as if my tenant does come back and asks why was her dad given her stuff where do I stand??
    Last edited by dumb & dumber; 05-10-2011, 14:04 PM. Reason: put in paragraphs!!

  • #2
    You could use paragraphs you know.

    The police probably should not have got involved. A receipt for a washing machine proves nothing, I can buy a washing machine and not actually still own or have possession of it.
    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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    • #3
      You can certainly make a complaint against the police. Under the circumstances you describe I certainly would. I would include in your complaint the fact that in law you are responsible for the protection of the tenant's possessions. If the tenant is unhappy with the Police's actions (which you could not prevent), let her complain to the Police,

      Your tenant could have easily given instructions to you that her father is allowed to take back her possessions, there was no reason for the father to take this precipitative action.

      Do you know if the father has taken any items that were your property? Working through the inventory might help - he may be pursuaded that he has made an error if you shown him the inventory that describes the item and which has his daughter's signature on it confirming it belong in the property (and therefore to you.)

      The father may also be prepared to make a list (while its fresh in his mind) of everything of his daughter's that he did remove.

      You also need to work out whether he took everything that belonged to yoru tenant, as you are still responsible for anything he ommitted. If there is any uncertainty about who an item belongs to, I would invite the father to help decide.

      As he is already invovled, I would invovle him as much as possible as his daughter will have a harder time sueing you if have agreed a course of action wither her father. Photographing everything you propose to dispose of (apart from obvious waste) would be a good idea as even if it proves you have disposed of something that belonged to the tenant, you have a record of exactly what it was and what condition it was in. This will help if you are sued, as it will tend to limit your loss.

      Good luck!

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