Abandoned house and goods, what to do?

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    Abandoned house and goods, what to do?

    I'm pretty confident that one of my tenants has done a runner. I'm going through the process of securing a possession order now. However, peeping through the window I can see a lot of goods left behind. Knowing that I cannot just bin them once possession is gains, and having had a mate a few years back get hammered for thousands for interference with with a tenant's possessions I wondered if someone could give me a quick overview of what I have to do to ensure they cannot claim that I threw away the Rembrandt they had hidden in their pile of dirty pizza boxes left in the lounge and stole the koh-i-noor size diamond they'd hidden inside their mouldy mattress and therefore sue me into bankruptcy?

    Also they've left several windows open - if someone climbs in one and turns on the taps and floods the place (and the neighbours) I bet my insurance would not pay out because the property was insecure. Any idea what I can do here?

    #2
    I bet your friend did not get a possession order though, did he?

    Tell him his crap must have been stolen by someone who got in through the window.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by JK0 View Post

      Tell him his crap must have been stolen by someone who got in through the window.
      If only I had the balls I would do that in a heartbeat! However my luck would be that I was caught in a Sun newspaper sting to highlight what pieces of sh*t landlords are, so I think I'd better go about it properly!

      Comment


        #4
        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent

        Page 7 says that the LL is entitled to dispose of goods left, typically after 14 days.
        "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


          #5
          Thanks. Without wanting to be a pessimist I'm pretty sure that applies if things end the right way. What, for example, if the evicted tenant says, 'I tried several times to arrange collection within the 14 days but the landlord didn't turn up on each of the arranged times. Therefore he owes me 20 grand because he through away my priceless stuff.' etc.

          Comment


            #6
            I think you should ask the bailiff's advice. They gave my tenant 7 days to remove their stuff. If tenant was unable to contact you, he could always get in touch with the bailiff.

            Comment


              #7
              He would have to show that he had tried to contact you and provide proof so that couldn't happen.

              In regards to the property now, if it's entirely possible that someone can get in them you are entitled to secure your property whilst assuming it has been abandoned.

              Give the private rent team at your local council a call and tell them that you are in the process of applying for a possession order and that you believe the property has been abandoned. They will allow you to enter and secure the property while keeping record to avoid any allegation of illegal eviction.

              You can go in and close the windows although I'd probably give 24 hours notice first.

              Comment


                #8
                What does the tenancy agreement say on the matter? For example, a tenancy I use states
                The tenant will be responsible for meeting all reasonable removal and/or storage charges when items are left in the accommodation. The landlord will remove said items and store them for a maximum of one month. The landlord will notify the tenant at his last known address. If the items are not collected within one month, the landlord will consider same to be abandoned and shall dispose of the items. The tenant shall be liable for the reasonable costs of disposal which may be deducted from any funds arising from the sale of the items or the deposit.
                See also this excellent site providing info here...
                http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/conten...ods-in-rentals
                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...

                Comment


                  #9
                  That sounds like sensible idea (asking an opinion of them), although I don't imagine for a moment that a county court bailiff would either turn back up to let the tenants in (it takes a month here to get them booked in for a possession appointment) or even pass on a message about the goods. However they might know what to do.

                  Any thoughts on where I stand with the open windows and my insurance?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Our thoughts are of little weight should things get "interesting": Suggest you read the policy documentation...
                    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...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      My insurance says the property must be secure, and if the tenant ever had a policy then I bet theirs did too. However how do I secure the property without entering unlawfully???

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Easy: (assumed you'd already done this..). You write to him (at the address you have...) with notice of an inspection, min 24hrs notice. Go round, ideally with witness, take loads of photos, hope you find nothing nasty, secure windows if necessary "assuming tenant had forgot to shut them". Leave tiny bit of sellotape at top of door so you can see if anyone else goes it later..
                        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...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You don't think I could get into trouble for entering without permission? I've always worked to the basis of never entering a property unless I have agreement from the tenant.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If you write and say you're coming to inspect the condition of the property that allows you access.
                            If the tenant declines you would have an issue (your right to enter and the tenant's right to exclude you conflict) - but that's not going to happen in this case.
                            Push a note through the door with a witness fliming on a camera.
                            Come back 24 hours later with same person and enter (shouting hello etc) and inspect the property.
                            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              jpkeates,

                              The video bit seems perfectly reasonable! Cheers.

                              Comment

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