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abandonment and tenants goods

What can you do if a tenant leaves goods and possessions in your property


What can you do if a tenant leaves goods and possessions in your property?

The best practice for legally disposing of a tenant's goods when it is clear they have abandoned the property isn't complex, but can be time consuming. Make every effort to trace the tenant's new address or otherwise contact them through any forwarding address or telephone number or email address you may have. You should then write to them with a legal notice using registered post or recorded delivery.

If you didn't get contact details from the tenant or have no success in finding a forwarding address, you could place a notice at the rented premises, although this notice should be placed inside the property (not affixed to the outside door) because of the risk of 'advertising' an empty property to squatters.

This letter or notice should inform the tenant that their goods are available for collection and will be kept for a reasonable period (say up to three months), though not necessarily at the property itself. If the goods remain unclaimed after this period you can sell them and the tenant will at that point lose all rights to the goods.

You are entitled to recover any expenses you incurred for storage and arranging the sale as well as any rent arrears from the proceeds of the sale. Any amount left over left will belong to the tenant and, provided they contact you within six years of selling the goods, you have to pay those monies due to them.

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