Removal of Furniture to girlfriend’s house!

by Readers Question

8:48 AM, 27th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Removal of Furniture to girlfriend’s house!

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Removal of Furniture to girlfriend’s house!

We rent out a furnished apartment via a letting agent. We have just inspected with the letting agent present and the tenant has removed all the furniture from the second bedroom and a table and chairs from the dining room. He has also turned the second bedroom into a study. furniture removal

We were asked by the agent if we would agree to the tenant removing furniture and expressly said no – it was to stay. We are now trying to get the agent to tell us where and how the furniture is being stored.

The tenant blithely told us it was in his girlfriends house! How do we get the agent to get the tenant to put in writing where the furniture is, that it is safely stored, is appropriately insured against loss or damage and is replaced in the apartment on termination of the tenancy and in the same condition before it was removed.

Our apartment has been rented out for 5 years to various tenants and this is the first time we have come across this.

Many thanks

Eddie



Comments

Neil Patterson

8:51 AM, 27th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Oh dear that sounds odd.

Do you know the total value of the furniture removed and how much the deposit would cover?

Eddie Blower

9:07 AM, 27th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "27/07/2016 - 08:51":

Thanks Neil. The table is recycled wood and wicker chairs - we paid 450 pounds for it. The bed, wardrobe, mirrors and dressing table were not expensive but replacing if damaged I guess would cost a bit. We no longer live in the UK so are dependent on the letting agent to do his job and he seems to be dodging.

Luke P

15:34 PM, 27th July 2016
About 2 years ago

I don't think anyone could force them to leave the furniture in place...as long as it's returned and undamaged at the end of the agreement. Remember, once they sign on the dotted line, the house is theirs.

Try not to see it as something that's yours that you're lending out for a bit. The Housing Act and The Landlord and Tenant Act are specific pieces of legislation governing this arrangement, which is unlike any other sort of lend/borrow scenario (like letting a friend borrow your car or a book).

No matter how much you write it in to an agreement/tell the agent/inform the tenant, there's no guarantee this won't happen with any other resident.

Rob Crawford

15:45 PM, 27th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Eddie, your tenancy agreement should have a clause that states, "furniture is not need to be moved" (or similar) and possibly, "without the expressed permission of the landlord". The agent therefore needs to enforce the agreement and insist that the furniture is returned to the property or that they seek your permission to place it elsewhere. Assuming it's gone missing, unless you have an insurance policy that allows you to replace it with new furniture a depreciation calculation will be applied. Essentially anything over 10 years old is likely to be valued as £zero. It is therefore important that the agents can account for your missing items. I am confused as to who the tenant is? Who is it the guy you spoke to? If he is not the tenant, in what capacity is he in the house? Is subletting taking place? I would suggest you get a copy of the tenancy agreement and forward any concerns to the agent to obtain a response from the tenants. If they are not compliant with the tenancy agreement terms then I would consider serving notice if they are not corrected.

Mandy Thomson

20:04 PM, 27th July 2016
About 2 years ago

When I was a tenant, there was some furniture in the property that I didn't want, so I made sure the tenancy was for an unfurnished property before I signed it. My own tenants have decided to get rid of the odd piece - but only after asking me first!

In short, I can see why the tenant might want rid of the furniture, as we all want to personalise our home and make it our own space - but I DON'T see why they can't seek your agreement first.

Eddie Blower

20:38 PM, 27th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "27/07/2016 - 15:45":

Thanks Rob. There is such a clause in the tenancy agreement. I have written to the agent explaining that I would like something in writing from the tenant about where the furniture is and how it is being stored and if they cannot comply then notice should be served. No response from the agent. Our place was advertised as a fully furnished apartment and this tenant has brought in a lot of his own furniture, bed, couches, table and chairs. I am thinking of removing all the furniture after this guy leaves although the apartment has always been easy to let on short term leases.

Luke P

21:15 PM, 27th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Is all the furniture correctly fire marked etc?

Which Notice would you serve?

Eddie Blower

21:58 PM, 27th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Luke P" at "27/07/2016 - 21:15":

Luke - have no idea if the tenants furniture is fire marked. We are required to give 2 months notice as the tenants were on a 6 month short term lease and have not signed another one. They can give us one month notice. Before letting five years ago we did have the fire service out to check the property for fire risk. I think we will remove all the furniture when this guy and his girlfriend leave.

Luke P

12:40 PM, 28th July 2016
About 2 years ago

This may seem a little harsh, but I see this all too often...

Eddie, whilst I understand your concerns, you answer shows you lack of knowledge.

Are you planning on serving a S.8 or a S.21 Notice? Was YOUR furniture fire marked? I don't wish to be rude, but there are very specific rules governing the renting of property and whilst I'm sure you're well-intentioned, I don't think you have a clue.

Stop seeing the property as something that's entirely yours and you will dictate how/when/why the tenant will use it. Whilst you are the legal owner, the house is now essentially theirs. Quiet enjoyment will likely extend to using bedroom two as a study. It's not quiet enjoyment 'as suits the owner'.

I imagine your furniture doesn't meet the regs and so I'd be careful how much you moan about it. If you serve a S.8 for breach of agreement, I doubt any Judge will grant you possession on the basis of 'moved furniture' alone and if you're within the first 4 months of the tenancy, you won't be able to serve a S.21 anyway.

Dependent on when the TA began, you may have to serve (if not already) certain prescribed information. I'm unsure if you are fully aware how much and for how long a tenant can mess you about, and a possession order in itself won't change a thing. Delays with bailiffs are being reported up to 47 weeks!

I meet far too many amateur landlords who feel empowered because they've read something, or have a piece of paper they can wave or are using 'basic common sense' (which will often not fall in the same category as the overarching legislation of the 'special arrangement' that is letting out property).

If they're paying the rent, does it really matter what's happened to the furniture (especially as you plan on getting rid of it after this tenant)? Is it really of any value? If the tenant HAS disposed of it, serving them notice (and potentially having a lengthy eviction battle with no income on your hands) will not change the status of said furniture. Can you stomach a potential void/lack of rent whilst evicting/gratuitous damage? Are you sure you/your agent did everything correct (protect deposit/serve prescribed information/smoke alarms -tested and proved so-)?

Personally I think you are opening a hornets nest...unless of course you're not receiving the rent, which changes things substantially.

I suspect a case of: "That's my table and chairs he's gone and moved! And the bed too!! Now jolly well listen here you peasant -sorry, I mean, tenant- you're damn lucky I let you temporarily borrow my apartment at all, given your behaviour that doesn't match my expectations of this transaction (and to think I furnished the place for you too so you'd have a lovely home to live in). Get the furniture put back this minute and don't you dare live in a manner that suits you or else I will have to take further action... A study rather than the beautiful second bedroom I supplied...whatever next!! I'm your landlord I'll have you know."

In the words of Elsa from Disney's Frozen, "LET IT GO...!"

Rogues will always be rogues, but the people who are really damaging the industry and its professionalism are those that walk amongst us, giving it their 'best shot' and look for the most part like decent people trying to do a good job. Imagine if a non-professional had a bash at electrics (so long as they used their common sense and all). Do you think that would wash as anything like good enough? I really do wonder why people think they can be a landlord 'on the side'. There'd be uproar if I attempted to wing it in any of your industries. It should be like becoming a solicitor -a specific set of (not-all-that-easy exams to pass).

Mandy Thomson

14:25 PM, 28th July 2016
About 2 years ago

I've just recently acquired a new tenant for a furnished let (my second tenant in that particular property, which I once lived in myself).

My tenant didn't want a corner unit I rather liked, but it wouldn't fit in my own place, and I had to buy him a new bed as this had been supplied in his previous let. I had to get rid of the unit, which meant giving it away to someone willing to take it away quickly. The unit and bed combined amounted to at least £600 - but what is that compared to keeping a good tenant happy in his own home, and the monthly rent is more than that.

If you take a look on sites like Gumtree, eBay, Streetlife etc - you'll find people giving away perfectly good furniture all the time, for all sorts of reasons, but I'm willing to bet a sizeable number are landlords accommodating their tenants!

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