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Residential landlords: what to do with items left in a property

Whilst it is generally the case that outgoing tenants take most of their belongings with them when they leave a property, there are often instances, particularly following evictions, where they might leave items behind but do not leave a forwarding or contact address.

I am often asked whether the landlord can simply dispose of the items, or whether the landlord actually has to look after them – even if it incurs further cost. The latter may well be a bitter pill to swallow given an evicted tenant is likely to have left without paying rent, and potentially having racked up additional legal costs too.

Whilst not usually one for quoting legislation at clients, the key piece of legislation to consider here is the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977, and particularly section 12 which addresses abandoned items.

For the avoidance of doubt, the items left behind will remain the property of the tenant, and the landlord actually has to take care of the goods whilst making reasonable attempts to contact the tenant.

If you are a lettings agent, or residential landlord with problem tenants, speak to the litigation solicitors at Ironmonger Curtis in Sheffield to learn about what fixed fee legal services we have available to assist you.

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