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House Full Of Landlord's Possesions

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Hi guys

Recently moved house and landlord had left a large number of personal possessions in our rental, including totally filling all of the storage cupboards in the eaves. This was not agreed, nor even discussed, and would have been a deal breaker had it been requested.

2 weeks in, and landlord is now refusing to budge and remove his possessions.

They do not appear on an inventory as a result of the check-in clerk not being able to find the key.

Am I entitled to remove them?

Do I owe a duty of care or can I just dispose of them?

Advice welcomed. Am instructing a solicitor tomorrow but keen to get views from you guys!

Bosworth

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Hi guys

Recently moved house and landlord had left a large number of personal possessions in our rental, including totally filling all of the storage cupboards in the eaves. This was not agreed, nor even discussed, and would have been a deal breaker had it been requested.

2 weeks in, and landlord is now refusing to budge and remove his possessions.

They do not appear on an inventory as a result of the check-in clerk not being able to find the key.

Am I entitled to remove them?

Do I owe a duty of care or can I just dispose of them?

Advice welcomed. Am instructing a solicitor tomorrow but keen to get views from you guys!

Bosworth

get everything in writing. emails (datestamped). if you have a phone call, write an email immediately afterwards saying "thank you for discussing.....etc etc". if he starts to refuse your calls, send emails noting when you tried to get in contact.

basically, increasingly in society, evidence wins, not 'fairness'

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Hi guys

Recently moved house and landlord had left a large number of personal possessions in our rental, including totally filling all of the storage cupboards in the eaves. This was not agreed, nor even discussed, and would have been a deal breaker had it been requested.

2 weeks in, and landlord is now refusing to budge and remove his possessions.

They do not appear on an inventory as a result of the check-in clerk not being able to find the key.

Am I entitled to remove them?

Do I owe a duty of care or can I just dispose of them?

Advice welcomed. Am instructing a solicitor tomorrow but keen to get views from you guys!

Bosworth

Im not saying this with 100% certainty, but im pretty sure not on the inventory = doesnt exist. so unless you have written to them about it (and therefore they can use that to prove items were there) your solicitor will probably say u can throw the lot out and not mention it as how can the landlord ask for damages for something that doesnt exist on the inventory, short answer = they cant

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Im not saying this with 100% certainty, but im pretty sure not on the inventory = doesnt exist. so unless you have written to them about it (and therefore they can use that to prove items were there) your solicitor will probably say u can throw the lot out and not mention it as how can the landlord ask for damages for something that doesnt exist on the inventory, short answer = they cant

And can't prove that anyone nicked them.

We rented out our house while overseas for years and never did find out which of the 3 corporate tenants nicked Mr B's old Dinky toys out

of the loft. :(

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Im not saying this with 100% certainty, but im pretty sure not on the inventory = doesnt exist. so unless you have written to them about it (and therefore they can use that to prove items were there) your solicitor will probably say u can throw the lot out and not mention it as how can the landlord ask for damages for something that doesnt exist on the inventory, short answer = they cant

WRT the tenancy you can dispose of them, but wrt common law you most certainly cannot.

They belong to the LL and disposing of then would be criminal damage (or even theft).

Whether there will be enough evidence that you did this is another matter.

tim

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I'd bin it all. You've been reasonable about it first, he has decided to be an idiot, that's fair warning in my opinion. At check out time the inventory list that you signed is checked. That is all that matters, the TDS they will only consider the inventory list if he tries to get money for it from the deposit.

What was he planning on doing anyway, pop around when he fancied to get stuff when he needed? A reculctant landlord I expect, to be avoided if possible. If they're too dim to sell their house they're too dim to understand their rights and responsibilities as a landlord.

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The landlord should have mentioned that he wanted to store some stuff in some part of the house.

We rented when we were students, and the TA specified the smallest bedroom was to contain the owner's stuff and we were not to have access to it.

I would be very careful throwing things out, because it is effectively theft. The items are not yours to throw out.

We have had the same problem where a tenant has moved out and left a load of stuff behind. If it was obvious that the stuff was not rubbish, we tried to find somewhere to keep it, like a cellar or something, until they came back for it, rather than put it out for the bin men.

You should also consider the implications of p1ssing off your new landlord if you chuck out stuff he wants. You will make an enemy of him, which is probably not a good idea.

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This has nothing to do with the tenancy as such, and little to do with the inventory either. Uncollected goods such as these are covered by a specific area of law, with funny names like 'bailor' and 'bailee'. Am writing on a mobile so don't have the time to go pick out links for you, but the general situation is that you have to make reasonable effort to contact the LL about it, allow reasonable time for them to collect, you cannot dispose arbitrarily but you can charge a reasonable storage rate, and after a while you are permitted to dispose of the goods. If I have time tomorrow will detail for you.

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I don't think these principles apply in these circumstances.

The goods are the landlord's not the tenant's. It strikes me that the landlord is in breach of contract and that the appropriate remedy is a claim for damages for any costs incurred in moving to another property.

If the tenant is not prepared to allow the landlord to store his possessions in the property then he should request the removal of the goods. If the landlord refuses then they should look for somewhere else to live and claim damages for the costs incurred in moving to a reasonably equivalent property in reasonable proximity.

Of course I am not a lawyer and this my understanding of the principles involved.

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The tort (interference of goods) law covers abandoned property in general. Yes the article is on tenant goods, but the general principles are the same. A little googling around the matter should put them on track- it's too unweildy for me to do it on a mobile and an edge connection!

A landlord leaving goods does not breach a tenancy agreement, unless they were packed so high to the rafters the tenant couldn't physically take possession. Tenancy agreements are nothing to do with goods.

If the OP wishes they can go to the landlordzone forums and ask the same question.

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I gave an ultimatum and the landlord removed his possessions. It was two small lorry loads which were materially impacting our usage of the property. It would have been fine for him to stipulate he was to retain possession of all of the house's storage cupboards, but this would not then have been the house for me.

Many thanks for all your advice and ideas - much appreciated...

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The tort (interference of goods) law covers abandoned property in general. Yes the article is on tenant goods, but the general principles are the same. A little googling around the matter should put them on track- it's too unweildy for me to do it on a mobile and an edge connection!

A landlord leaving goods does not breach a tenancy agreement, unless they were packed so high to the rafters the tenant couldn't physically take possession. Tenancy agreements are nothing to do with goods.

If the OP wishes they can go to the landlordzone forums and ask the same question.

I disagree with your assertion. And judging by the next post the landlord seems to have made his decision based on the principles I outlined. The main distinction is that the goods were not abandoned.

I would assert that there is an implied condition in the tenancy agreement that the tenant is entitled to unobstructed possession of the house. It is of course open to either party to vary that condition but then it would have to be explicitly stated.

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I disagree with your assertion. And judging by the next post the landlord seems to have made his decision based on the principles I outlined. The main distinction is that the goods were not abandoned.

I would assert that there is an implied condition in the tenancy agreement that the tenant is entitled to unobstructed possession of the house. It is of course open to either party to vary that condition but then it would have to be explicitly stated.

I don't know the law, but I hope I know something about reasonable behaviour. Why don't you get 3 quotes from reputable firms that will collect and store the goods? Email the LL and give him 14 days to remove them or you will get the cheapest firm to remove and store, and you will deduct it from rent. If he wants to seek a possession order, let him. Then agian, someone who does know the law may disagree.

Oh and has he lodged the deposit with the TDS or whatever?

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I disagree with your assertion. And judging by the next post the landlord seems to have made his decision based on the principles I outlined. The main distinction is that the goods were not abandoned.

Well, you can disagree all you like, but I doubt that the landlord's decision to take a particular course of action has any bearing on the legal situation.

Am back at a proper computer now, so let me elaborate:

- My use of term 'abandoned' goods does not mean that there is no intention ever to collect them in this particular instance, I was just using the word in the conversational sense. The full phrase used in this area of the law is usually 'abandoned and uncollected goods' - whether the owner of the goods intends to collect them is in fact irrelevant except in terms of how the situation will eventually be resolved.

- When a third party leaves goods on premises belonging to another, an 'involuntary bailment' is created. Normally the 'bailor' (person leaving the goods) is a departing tenant and the 'bailee' (custodian of the goods) is the landlord regaining possession, but in fact the law applies to any such situation, not specifically to T on LL (in fact the act does not talk about landlords or tenants at all). If I park my car on your driveway, I would make you an involuntary bailee too.

- An involuntary bailee has a duty of care towards the goods, even if they may not want them. They are not permitted use of them. Broadly speaking (and the specific responsibilities are outlined in the act) they have to make reasonable efforts to contact the bailor andbefore terminating the bailment, and to allow collection of the goods. However, if the goods remain abandoned after a reasonable amount of time the bailor might be permitted to dispose of and perhaps even sell the goods.

Such a situation doesn't really have anything to say about the breach of the tenancy agreement. It's arguable how much that applies in a situation, whereas interference with goods most certainly applies. Whilst I acknowledge that a sufficient volume of possessions or restricted access can prohibit full possession of the property (for instance a room full of junk or a locked attic that was demised to the tenant), it's actually a very grey area. Presumably leaving behind a kettle is not a breach of tenancy, but what about a kettle and a toaster? kettle, toaster and set of pans? kettle, toaster, set of pans and microwave? etc. And quite how you establish damages in such a situation would also be very up in the air.

http://www.justanswer.com/real-estate-law/3no1u-tenant-moved-early-lease-sept-2008-left.html

http://www.lodgerlandlord.co.uk/2010/08/19/dealing-with-lodgers-possessions-that-they-leave-behind/

http://www.emsleys.co.uk/images/pdf-store/RSL%20Factsheet%20-%20Abandoned%20goods%20&%20%20Vehicles.pdf

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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