To throw or not to throw?

To throw or not to throw?

11:46 AM, 3rd November 2021, About 4 weeks ago 5

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Nightmare tenant evicted and finally gone last week. She’s tried every legal trick in the book to get the council to re-house her (she moved into the small house with her partner and very quickly produced three children) and is playing every single legal card she can try to get the council to re-house her in a three bed property. Most of her strategies have involved dragging me through the mud, social media, the courts, etc.

So, she has now vacated the premises leaving a house full to burst with furniture, clothes, detritus in all rooms, the loft, the garden (except the shiny new washing machine which seems to have curiously disappeared) but she’s claiming that she would like to come back and collect them.

So my question is: how long do I legally have to give her before I can get a house clearance company to come and take it all away. There is a risk that if I get rid, even a day too soon, she’ll be asking me to replace it all and dragging me through the courts.

Cheers

Pam



Comments

by Neil Patterson

12:00 PM, 3rd November 2021, About 4 weeks ago

A landlord must give notice to a tenant that he intends to dispose of any goods left behind in a property, as per Schedule 1 of the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977.

This notice should be sent to the tenant’s current address as well as attached to the property.

The notice must contain the following information:

The location of the goods
If the goods are to be sold, the location of the sale
Notification that sale and storage costs will be deducted from the proceeds of any sale, should one take place
A list of items being stored
Notices must be sent via recorded delivery.

It is customary to give the tenant 21 days’ notice to collect their goods, but you are free to offer longer than that.

If you don’t have a forwarding address for the tenant, you must take reasonable steps to contact them. Speak to friends or family and reach out on social media. Another option is to try a tracing company on a no-find, no-fee basis. They will have access to official databases and are more likely to find the tenant.

If you can’t get hold of the tenant or they haven’t given you explicit permission to sell or dispose of their belongings, then the bailee (landlord) can sell the uncollected goods if the following applies:

The tenant has failed to collect their goods after the period specified in the Schedule 1 Notice (usually 21 days).
The landlord is unable to contact the tenant because they left no forwarding address and any reasonable attempts to find them have been unsuccessful.

by reader

12:41 PM, 3rd November 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Dear Pam

There is one more trick she might be trying, that off regaining possession.

It sounds hard work but itemise everything as if an inventory and arrange for your contractor to enter and return the goods.

by Robert Mellors

12:47 PM, 3rd November 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Did you have any specific terms and conditions that the tenant agreed to, regarding items that may be left in the property after the tenant vacates? If not, then you should follow the procedure outlined by Neil above (though I believe that the notice only has to be sent to the last known address, so I'm not sure you are obliged to employ a tracing agent to find the former tenant).

If you have (agreed) contractual terms relating to the storage and disposal of possessions left behind after the end of the tenancy, then I believe that this would override the general rule within the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act, but of course you would need to evidence such an agreement. However, as with all legal issues, best to get proper legal advice specific to your circumstances (I am not a solicitor, and have not seen your tenancy agreement, so my comments are my personal views only).

by Martin Thomas

10:54 AM, 4th November 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Do I take it from your comments that the washing machine was on your inventory? If so, she appears to have stolen it.

by Carole Wicklow

10:08 AM, 6th November 2021, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by at 03/11/2021 - 12:41Having just been through a similar scenario, my solicitor recommended itemizing and photographing the debris left behind and then getting a quote for rubbish removal. On the quote the contractor was to write that there was nothing of value in the items to be carted away. (Absolutely true in our case). We also made a successful claim against our tenants with the DPS as the AST clearly stated their rubbish had to be removed before they left.
A solicitor's letter to the tenants
made a big difference in our case.
It is worth reading the court cases - Hale vs. Blue Sky Properties and Shevlin vs. Sequence, if you have an agent managing the property.


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