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Landlord keeping my possession


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I've recently moved out of a rented house but the landlord has kept some of my possessions and won't return them.

 

I was made redundant from work and fell behind with the rent. As a result the landlord gave me 2 months to move out. On the day that I moved I'd collected the majority of my belongings but didn't have time to finish the job. I returned the next day to collect the remaining items - a box of personal documents, a box of jewellery and a cooker. However when I arrived at the property the landlord had changed the locks.

 

I text him to ask if I could get the last few items and he text back asking when I was paying him the money that I owed him. I told him that as soon as I had it I would give it to him. He never replied. I once again text him the next day and he text the same question about the money owed. Every time I text him over the next week he just repeated the same question. Now he is completely ignoring my texts and won't answer my calls.

 

I've told him that I need to get my personal documents in order to get a new job - the sooner I do, the sooner I can pay him - but he still ignores me. I have had to cancel 2 job interviews because he won't let me get my things which include my birth certificate and my NVQ certificates, both of which I need to produce at interview.

 

My question is this: can a landlord keep hold of my personal possessions until I pay him any money that I owe him?

 

If he'd let me get my documents I'd be able to get a job and pay him quicker, but he doesn't seem to realise this. I'd really appreciate any advice you can offer.

 

Thanks.

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You left personal possession at the property, persumably without permission and after your contract at ended? - so firstly your in the wrong.

 

The LL as subsequently kept the property as a bargin chip for rent owed. I sympathise with his position, but again he is in the wrong.

 

What can you do about it? - well the most obvious answer is pay what is owed! Again I can sympathise with his position, what certainty has he got that you will pay what you owe once you find a job?

 

The less easy answer is to take some kind of legal action:

 

- I would assume its theft? make a police report? - I suspect they will be less than inerested.

 

- Take civil action through the small claims court is the second option.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

The contract hadn't ended, he changed the locks before the 2 months were up. I contacted the police but they said it was a civil matter.

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A landlord cannot by law withhold another’s personal belongings in lieu of any monies owed and you can take him to court and be awarded substantial damages.

 

Cashmere v. Walsh, Downing and Veale the tenant, amongst other damages, was awarded £6,515 for the landlord failing to return the goods in question.

 

The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977

 

Warn him that if he doesn't release your goods within 24 hours, you will issue a summons.

 

It is a civil matter so the police won't be interested.

Edited by Conniff
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Thanks for the reply.

 

The contract hadn't ended, he changed the locks before the 2 months were up. I contacted the police but they said it was a civil matter.

 

Illegal eviction is a crimnal offence. You should return to the police and make a statement.

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A landlord cannot by law withhold another’s personal belongings in lieu of any monies owed and you can take him to court and be awarded substantial damages.

 

Cashmere v. Walsh, Downing and Veale the tenant, amongst other damages, was awarded £6,515 for the landlord failing to return the goods in question.

 

The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977

 

Warn him that if he doesn't release your goods within 24 hours, you will issue a summons.

 

It is a civil matter so the police won't be interested.

 

Is this done via the county court?

 

Thanks for the advice, both of you. Big help.

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Not to start with, just send him a letter quoting the Interference with goods act and tel him you will be at the house so and so time to collect you goods.

 

If he refuses still, then you issue a court summons.

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