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Question

After the Court Order — and Eviction (England) | Tenant Moves Out (England)

Interference of Goods Act – House full of personal possessions left behind after an Eviction

16 Mar 2018 | 1 comment

Hi, two questions in point.

What is my obligation to keep two domestic size freezers using electricity in order to save their contents since I’ve evicted my tenant on the 6th of last month. One freezer unit belongs to the tenant, the other is my own.

If I serve the interference of goods notice to my tenant (at this stage I do have a current address for her) and keep her possessions for the accepted 3 months, what obligation, if any are on me to then have to sell them time scale wise ? Is there any period of time defined after the three months that I should or need to sell the items by.

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    We’re not aware of any case that answers the question about food in a freezer. Cases dealing with goods have just said you’ve got to look after items reasonably and simply do what’s right and proper.

    The 3 months is only if you intend to charge for the storage. You can give “reasonable” notice if you aren’t charging for storage. As such, you might be better giving a shorter time in particular for the food.

    The How to Rent guide (which must now be given to all tenants by law) says:

    Clear up. Remove all your possessions, clean the house, take meter readings, return all the keys and give a forwarding address. The landlord is entitled to dispose of possessions left in the property after, typically, 14 days.

    This is only a guide and has no legal weight as such but, we submit if a legally required guidance is suggesting 14 days as being reasonable anything around this time-scale (but not less) is arguably “reasonable”. You would need to check the terms of your tenancy just in case that says a longer period than 14 days.

    In respect of selling the goods, the legislation says that if the procedure is followed (the service of those two notices etc.) then the goods become yours. As such, there is no time-frame after expiry of the notices. You can’t profit from any sale i.e. the money belongs to the tenant but that’s less costs you’ve incurred and anything they may already owe you. In reality, it would often cost more to sell items than they’re worth so disposal is fine in that case.

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