Landlord has disposed of all my possessions

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    Landlord has disposed of all my possessions

    Clearly I need to find a solicitor to help me, but in the meantime can anyone comment on my legal position in the situation below?

    I’m from overseas, I travel to London most weeks for work. I found a furnished flat which I have not signed any contract for, but lived there 2 months. I simply told the owner that I’ll be here until February 2015. She said I would need to sign a contract making clear it’s a holiday let, however no contract was given. She sends a bill to my company (normally weeks late, which is paid by bank transfer). The last payment covered until the end of November, no invoice has been sent for December because the owner is on holiday, but she was aware that I was staying, sending me an SMS over the weekend to confirm).

    I left London last Thursday but with all my possessions still in the flat. I returned yesterday and everything had been removed. I haven’t been able to contact the owner after frequent attempts but the handyman contacted the cleaner. She confirmed she entered saw all the stuff and texted the owner asking her what she should do. The owner didn’t reply so the cleaner packed everything up and left it next to a bin in the street. The value is high, ipad, watch, suits, shoes, shirts etc. She said that on her documentation it said “clean the flat” and company policy is to dispose of anything inside.

    I can see how this is a misunderstanding between the owner and the cleaner, but how do I claim the cost of replacing my things? I called my insurer and they said I needed to report a theft. I tried to report it to the police this morning and they said no crime has been committed because the cleaner had consent from her employer to dispose of items inside. I called my insurers legal advice line and they said it is a theft and must be recorded, I called the police station again and they refuse to record it as a crime saying its a civil matter. I’m stuck, I don’t even know what type of lawyer I need. Any help would be appreciated.

    #2
    Your lack of contract should not be a problem as a tenancy agreement may be verbal.
    In addition, if you have invoices this will prove you have a contract.
    You will need to contact the police again and clearly state that they are wrong and for them to record it as a crime so you get a reference number to claim on your contents insurance if necessary.
    In addition, write/email the landlord and tell them you will be claiming for all your contents via the county court if necessary.
    You will have to prove you had these items so again receipts etc as well as statements from cleaner and handyman are essential.
    You can initiate a claim online via MCOL (google it) without a solicitor but read all the advice/help first
    Sounds bloody awful, hope it all gets sorted.
    Do not accept a no from any of the participants - they have permanently deprived you of your items which is technically theft (Theft Act 1968)

    Comment


      #3
      Yes, highly likely a cleaner picked up and ipad and watch and put them in the bin.
      "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

      What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

      Comment


        #4
        Cleaner insists that she disposed of everything. The iPad and watch were already in the front pocket of the case so she says she didn't see them. she said she was aware that she was disposing of valuable things but company policy is to remove any items left behind.

        Comment


          #5
          You may also have a claim against cleaning Co/insurers
          I take it cleaner was engaged to clean flat as a one off?

          Comment


            #6
            http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ll-new-posters

            Can you answer the questions on the link above?

            pm
            Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

            Comment


              #7
              So 'everything' was removed from the flat? The furniture, appliances etc?

              Given the LL instructed them to clean then your compliant lies with them.
              There is always scope for misinterpretation.

              If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

              Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for your answers ...and more questions, I'll try to answer them.

                The cleaner is employed by the property owner, and cleans on-demand and on T changeover days
                All MY contents were removed, the LL remain.

                Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)?
                >> England

                Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. single tenant / multiple tenant / room only?
                >> Verbal, she sends a bill to my company and it gets paid. An agreement was promised, but never arrived. LL said it would be a holiday let agreement as it was short term. It's an independant flat, with it's own entrance.

                Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy?
                >> 10/10/14

                Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)?
                >> Difficult to say, I verbally confirmed I would stay until Feb 2015

                Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)?
                >> No Agreement, It's paid when LL sends invoice to my Company, normally monthly.

                Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)?
                >> LL asked for £300 deposit, which my company paid on 10/10/14 with the first months rent

                Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy).
                >> N/A

                Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant?
                >> No.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Are you still using the flat as your residence, or have you been removed as well as your property?

                  How many times has the cleaner visited since you have been in occupancy? If they have visited before how much did they clean?

                  The LL knew you were staying beyond November and yet the cleaner went in to do a change over cleanup? But on querying the situation and getting no response the cleaner apparently took it upon themselves to remove all your stuff and place it by a bin on the street? I take it ALL your personal possessions were removed and the flat was cleared in readiness for a new occupant? So, all your clothes, food, kitchen utensils, bedding, books cups , everything was cleared and put by the bin? If the flat was not cleared to that extent then that would indicate to me "selective" clearing, and theft.

                  pm



                  Appears to me that the cleaner, cleaning company is the one you claim against on the information given?
                  Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by property mongrel View Post
                    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ll-new-posters

                    Can you answer the questions on the link above?

                    pm
                    Please! When the tenancy began, where the landlord lives etc etc and even if there is a tenancy at all are not relevant here.

                    I am inclined to agree with the police that, if it is as the cleaner says and that is how you reported it to the police, there is no crime. That does not of course mean there is no claim and there clearly is. If the OP is going to see a solicitor he will advise against whom the claim should be made. He can also sort out the insurers.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm trying to find alternative accommodation now. My solicitor adviced that I move out ASAP, which will be tomorrow.

                      Cleaner has cleaned sporadically during my stay. She removed ALL my possestions and left all the owners possestions (furniture, utencils etc) i.e. she prepared the apartment for a new T. you are correct that as the cleaner had no response from the LL she acted in line with "Company Policy" to dispose of all items left behind after checkout.

                      The police are investigating whether a crime of theft or trespass occured, and who is responsible. In the meantime my solicitor has started proceedings to recover the costs of replacement items.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                        Please! When the tenancy began, where the landlord lives etc etc and even if there is a tenancy at all are not relevant here.

                        I am inclined to agree with the police that, if it is as the cleaner says and that is how you reported it to the police, there is no crime. That does not of course mean there is no claim and there clearly is. If the OP is going to see a solicitor he will advise against whom the claim should be made. He can also sort out the insurers.
                        Really, not relevant? Until it is established what type of contract there was between the LL and the T, if that is the correct terminology, then no one can say whether or not there has been an illegal eviction or steps to cause that?

                        I am looking to see if there was a tenancy, and if the "cleaning" was a move to get the OP out? If OP lived abroad and commutes to UK weekly, for example, and stays to work, then he/she may have a tenancy.

                        The OP also needs to establish exactly what instructions were exchanged between the LL and the cleaner and or the cleaning company prior to the OP's property being removed/ It seems odd that a cleaner being told to prepare a flat for a new occupant would not ask why the previous occupant had not removed all their clothes, bedding , all their things when they had supposedly vacated? Maybe I am too suspicious?

                        It may be as simple as you seem to think LC, but, I doubt it.

                        pm
                        Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The OP's concern here is that their goods have been disposed of. That is not a question of the law of landlord and tenant but the law of tort which applies whether you have a tenancy, a licence, are staying at a guest house or visiting friends for the weekend.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Can't disagree with that, but if the T was illegally evicted or excluded that would help them, would it not? I am sure you will have already considered that aspect, what conclusion did you come to? Sometimes the OP may have other angles to use, and I don't see that exploring the situation thoroughly does any harm, especially if it is potentially to the OP's advantage.

                            pm
                            Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                            Comment

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