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I hope you can help me with this issue. We were most unlucky with our first ever tenant. He was reference checked by the estate agent. He was a non-UK citizen but was working and living in the UK at the time. We weren't his first landlords and the estate agent went us the go ahead so we let him the flat. He only paid 3 months rent and disappeared. 

 

My first communication was a call but I didn't leave a message when he didn't pick up. He texted my a few minutes later asking me who I was. When I replied that I was his landlady, he never replied and never picked up my phone after that. This was in December. We took him to court since he never responded to the notices that our solicitors have served him. We've finally got the possession warrant and were able to get into the flat with the bailiffs last week. 

 

He left all his furniture in the flat. I sent him a text message notifying that I would throw away his furniture if he didn't contact me by the end of the week and he didn't. 

 

My question is, is there any reason I have to hold on to his furniture or can I finally get rid of everything and put the flat back on the market?

 

Many thanks in advance for all your help.

Edited by livvye

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Offhand I would suggest that you document everything that he has left behind – photographs – making sure that the condition of the items is fairly clear. Then set about clearing the flat. Maybe the thing to do is to get the items valued and if you can get a price for them then deduct your expenses and hang onto the rest the money for him. If you aren't able to sell the items then take whatever reasonable action you need to do to dispose of them.

I think the important thing is to be able to document the items and also to justify any action you have taken in respect of them by having written quotations and written evidence of what you have done with the items.

Send them a recorded delivery letter to any available address you have for him and also to his place of work giving him seven days notice that this is what you are doing.

I'm not sure there's much else you can do


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Thank you for your help! 

 

We have a money judgment in our favour of £6,125 and the furniture in the flat will nowhere near cover that amount. I've already taken photos of the stuff that he's left. 

 

I put a notice through his door back in December and it was still there when we went in the flat with the bailiffs. So I don't think he's been to the flat since December.

 

The only address that we had was the flat which is where all the notices and court order were sent to. He never showed up to court so I have a feeling he's no longer in the country. 

 

Thank you again.

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If judgement was for the money as well as possession the you can sell the stuff to recover something if you can. You gave notice of its disposal and he didnt respond so tough.

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There is a piece of legislation called Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 that applies here.

What this act says is that you can't just get rid of a tenants chattels, because if you do he could sue you  for the value. You must give notice (put in the window of the property is usual) that you are going to dispose of the goods after 28 days. HOWEVER, you are entitled to charge storage for every day after you gained possession - which has to be at least £20 a day, and if there is a fair amount maybe as much as £40 or £50 a day. On that basis I would take a risk of getting rid of everything now.

I used to run a lettings agency, and out of the couple of dozen notices under the above act we posted, we only had one tenant ask about their belongings. We said that they could have them, but for security they have been removed from the property and stored as per the act, but as 21 days had elapsed, they could have them once the £210 storage charge was paid. In between much profane swearing they said there was no [expletive] way they would pay storage. We said fine, they will be disposed of after 28 days, with anything of value sold to help meet the storage charges.

 


On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Read anything I write with the above in mind.

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For some reason this has reminded me of an experience I had years ago when  I rented a room in a shared house. Someone had moved out owing rent, leaving behind only a wrecked sofa. I remember the landlord standing there and telling me with complete sincerity that he would not allow to them collect the wrecked sofa until the outstanding rent was paid, and me standing there trying to keep a neutral expression on my face whilst thinking 'if they wanted the wrecked sofa I am sure they would have taken it with them when they went.' 

 

And in any case if it came to it I doubt he could have stopped them removing it...

 

Anyway good luck sorting this out, it must be heart breaking having to deal with something like this.

 

 

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