what am I allowed to do with my tennants Chattels

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    what am I allowed to do with my tennants Chattels

    I had my tennant evicted last week ,her belongings were left in the property when It was signed over to me by the balif. How long do I have to store them. Can I charge storage and rent owed before she can collect. After what period can I dispose of them and can they be sold to recover part of the debt owed.
    any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated
    regards Fiverboy.

    Unless you had a clause in your tenancy agreement as to how you would deal with abandoned goods, then you have to store them for 90 days, and yes, you can charge for this. They must be kept in a secure place though as you are responsible for their condition. You would also be required to make a reasonable effort to contact the tenant too, but you can make a reasonable charge for doing this. The word "reasonable" is used because that is what the OFT guidelines say.
    If at the end of 90 days the tenant cannot be located you can sell the goods and deduct your costs from the proceeds (if any) but you must send the balance to the tenant, or keep the money for 6 years for him to claim it if there is anything left. Pain in the arse I know but that's the way it is.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


      So it is best to have a Clause similar to that of the LawPack agreement:-
      6.6 Any personal items left behind at the end of the tenancy after the Tenant has vacated (which the Tenant has not removed in accordance with clause 1.13 of this Agreement) shall be considered abandoned if they have not been removed within 14 days of written notice to the Tenant from the Landlord or if the Landlord has been unable to trace the Tenant by taking reasonable steps to do so. After this period the Landlord may remove or dispose of the items as he thinks fit. The Tenant shall be liable for the reasonable disposal costs which may be deducted from the proceeds of sale (if any) and the Tenant shall remain liable for any balance. Any net proceeds of sale will be dealt with in the same way as the Deposit as set out in clause 5.2 above
      Clause 1.13 of the AST requires the Tenant

      To provide the Landlord with a forwarding address when the tenancy comes to an end and to remove all rubbish and personal items (including the Tenant's own furniture and equipment) from the Property before leaving

      The only way to enforce the forwarding address clause would be to ask that an address is provided to send on the deposit. (I normally return it by cheque on checkout)

      In support of other action by the landlord could the above clause be quoted to support the landlord's case that he had taken reasonable steps to trace the tenant but such steps were thwarted by the tenant's failure to comply with the tenancy conditions?

      Would be interesting to see what other Landlords are including in the AST's to cover this potential problem.
      Vic - wicked landlord
      Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
      Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.


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