End of Tenancy, Tenant’s Belongings, Tort Law and “Lockdown”?Make Text Bigger
Hi, Here is a dilemma that many of us on Property118 might likely face in the coming weeks of these very challenging times.
The 12 month fixed term tenancy ending this week, current Tenant contacted 6 weeks before tenancy end date he verbally informed agents of the purchase of a new home and won’t be renewing the tenancy. In said conversation asks the agent if any of the likely new Tenants would wish to purchase his furniture. A very unusual request especially given he wouldn’t even reply to agents request to arrange any appointments or allow viewings.
Fast forward to the past 2 weeks, I break with my protocol to contact Tenant directly, he agrees to a viewing and we discuss that I will ask any tenants regards the furniture. The following day the prospective Tenant (1) views property alone, adhering to Government advice and social distancing, agent uses “drop box” for keys. Also purchases some of Tenants furniture. But with no appreciation it later seemed.
I am contacted regularly by the current Tenant, who has now moved to his “new home” to ask about the other items which remain. He already told me he’d advertised them on eBay some 3-4 weeks ago, but had no success. He seems now to believe that I or the new Tenant should buy them all, if not he suggests I must store them for him, in my house, until he can finds a buyer or can dispose of them. He states that all the Refuge Centers are closed.
I tried to explain that neither I nor the tenant require them, also I have asked several friends and family in the area if they would be interested, they’ve circulated this on Facebook. The tenant knows I live overseas so it’s even more difficult for myself, apart from that, it’s not really my responsibility.
In the past 2 days his correspondences have become very abrasive, hateful and threatening. Not that it bothers me…..but frustrates me more so, as I must remain polite and not stoop to his level. He still has keys and access to the property. Last night his messages became very vindictive. In a nutshell, it’s the usual b*ll**x that these jumped up spoilt brats regurgitate – “I ve spoken to my lawyers” and “you shouldn’t be conducting viewings, house moves” etc etc. So I was polite and sent the Government link, I also explained the new Tenant mitigation which would be deemed “essential” and that in the past week the LHA had discussed the very same issues with myself. Also that this is being conducted through an agent.
He was adamant that he will leave the furniture in the garden and on Monday I will be receiving an email from his “Legal team” ha ha.
So here is my interpretation of the situation, the Tenant’s likely tact and my few choices.
Tenant is not telling the truth, he hasn’t bought a new place, most possibly moved in with friends/family or back to ex wife. He is malicious and vindictive and will seek to either scupper the new tenants move, or leave the belongings in the house making excuses that he can’t move them due to the Lockdown.
So my choices are:-
i). At the Check out have the Inventory Clerk itemise those items abandoned, arrange for their removal and storage, get receipt present to Agent and DPS for claim on deposit.
ii). If the move is delayed or cancelled, I shall try claim rent and Council tax as the Tenant hasn’t vacated the property, if he provides a new address I shall find out if he has purchased or paying Council tax at that address.
iii). Arrange for removal and delivery of the items of his to be taken to said address. Keep receipt and present in deposit dispute.
iv). Bite the bullet and buy the rest of his furniture and dump it.
What is the best and most likely path of least difficulty please?
I would, as ever appreciate anyone’s experiences and advice in this matter. Thank you kindly in advance.
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