How long to keep tenants possessions for?

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  • How long to keep tenants possessions for?

    My tenant was evicted but left the evening before the ballif arrived. She left a lot of possessions at the house, including furniture, electrical goods, beds and bedding, etc, etc.
    I posted a notice on the window giving her 7 days to collect and remove her goods. No contact was made to arrange this.
    I have a paragraph in my tenancy agreement that all goods left behind can be disposed of by the landlord at the tenants expense.
    What I need to know is can I legally now remove and dispose of these goods?

    Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    If you didn't specify a time limit in your AST before which the tenant has to reclaim their possessions if they vacate/abandon, then legally you have to safely store them for 90 days. You can charge the tenant for this if you have any money left, and for their (eventual) disposal and you have to take reasonable steps to locate them such as their last known workplace! If the possessions have any value then you should auction them; the money belongs to the tenant (less your reasonable expenses) which you must keep for 6 years in case they claim it from you.
    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.

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    • #3
      Also see Torts (Interfernce with Goods) Act 1977.
      Section 12 and Schedule 1 are the relevant provisions.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Adrian7 View Post
        What I need to know is can I legally now remove and dispose of these goods?
        What if you had a break-in and the stuff was taken?

        You surely would have no liability, as your care obligation would have been satisfied by them being in locked premises?
        On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Adrian7 View Post
          My tenant was evicted but left the evening before the ballif arrived. She left a lot of possessions at the house, including furniture, electrical goods, beds and bedding, etc, etc.
          I posted a notice on the window giving her 7 days to collect and remove her goods. No contact was made to arrange this.
          So by doing a notice you have admitted goods are on the premises. Shame.

          You are entitled to charge for storage. This should be reasonable, but round out way even to hire a pallet sized area of storage with a company is £20 a month inc vat. The goods would have to be worth something for this to be worthwhile.

          I know of an owner who gets rid of tenants abandoned items without any delay. One tenant surfaces a fortnight later and wanted the goods or redress. The owner said that when he attended the place was bare, and asked them for a written inventory, including serial numbers of any electrical items, or other identifying marks so that an investigation could be made as to their whereabouts. If they were located, then the tenant was advised that these would be released once the storage charges were met. Nothing came of it.
          On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

          Comment


          • #6
            http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/uncollected_goods.htm

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