Does A Landlord Have the Right To Sell Tenant Belongings?
Can a landlord take possession of a tenant´s goods and do they have the rights to sell the tenant belongings? The answer is no. A landlord cannot withhold your possessions, this law is covered by Torts (Interference With Goods) Act 1977. This will cover all aspects as to why the landlord cannot do what they wish with the property, belonging or goods of the tenant.
Why Would A Landlord Want To Sell Tenant Belongings?
The most common reasons a landlord may want to sell tenant belongings are as follows:
There has been a dispute and the rent has not been paid for some reason.
The tenants have failed to pay there rent and you have a number of months outstanding.
The tenants have just left the property still under contract but have not given the landlord proper notice under the assured shorthold tenancy agreement.
The tenants have damaged items within the property and the landlord wants to sell the tenant’s goods to cover the cost of any damages.
What Would Happen If A Tenant Leaves Articles Behind After The Contract Ends?
This happens on a number of occasions but as a landlord, you need to be very careful.
Firstly the tenants may have just left the property for a reason and are going to return. My advice would be to take the tenant’s belongings and store them. Then advise the tenants that the belongings have been stored and give them a time scale to collect them.
If there is a dispute over who is the owner of the goods then make sure that you don’t dispose of any of the items until this dispute has been resolved.
All landlords must give tenants 21 days as a legal obligation of any intention to dispose of their belongings. A landlord must also retain the belongings for a period of 3 months before they can dispose of them.
What Happens If The Landlord Sells The Tenants Belongings?
If the landlord, after serving the correct notice, sells the tenant’s belongings the landlord is allowed to claim reasonable costs, against the tenant, that have been incurred in the removal, storage, and sale of the belongings. However, under the Act, the courts require the best price to be obtained for the tenant´s belongings and the landlord must pay back to the tenant any amount above the landlord’s actual costs.