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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70209
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I moved out of my flat in November but land lord overlapped

Customer Question

I moved out of my flat in November but land lord overlapped tenant's agreements, so had little time to move out. I could not move my patio set and 4 big planters with expensive plants in it at the time, as they had to be carried up a flight of stairs. I handed keys to new tenants as they arrived and asked if it was ok to leave plants and patio set over winter, till I could collect. They said they looked nice and yes no problem. They had my contact details. I got in touch yesterday cause I now have transport and manpower to collect them. However the tenant told me he got rid of them . The plants and pots cost around £250 and the set £45. I can not believe he just threw them without contacting me. Is he within his rights to do so? Help!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Had your agreement expired?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Well, my agreement expired on the same day as theirs began. So we made a verbal agreement with new tenants to leave my belongings.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

How long after that did you try to collect?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yesterday I got in touch cause I now have transport and manpower as the pots are very heavy.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Under the Torts Interference with Goods Act, the flat owner should have given you notice that if you did not collect them by a particular date, he would dispose of them.

As there was no time expressed in your verbal agreement then you have a claim against the tenant.

However, if he is ignoring your telephone calls and texts, you will have no option but to take him to small claims court for the value of replacement items.

Here is the link to the Small Claims Court, where you can issue proceedings online quickly and easily www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

What you must not do is bombard him with letters or correspondence. One letter telling him to either return the items were paid the cost of them, or you will take him to the Small Claims Court.

If you start bombarding him with text or letters, you could face a warning from the police for harassment

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Will a solicitor's letter be suitable for this?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
It would be but a solicitor is unlikely to open a file for less than £75 and you will not be able to recover all of that cost even if you win in court. An ordinary handwritten letter from you is sufficient for legal purposes.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Can I just clarify, so although I made verbal agreement with the new tenant and not the flat owner, I still have a claim against tenant for disposing of my belongings.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
That is correct.

Your agreement was with the tenant and it's the tenant that was storing the things and it is the tenant that disposed of them.

It is therefore the tenant who should have given you notice and it is the tenant that you have a claim against
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He claims he never signed anything agreeing to leave the pots on the patio. Does a verbal agreement stand?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
A verbal agreement is just as enforceable as a written agreement , provided there is no dispute over what was said.

Even if there was no agreement and if he discovered that you had left things in the property without his knowledge, he should have given you exactly the same notice that I referred to earlier, telling you to come and collect them within the next couple of days, failing which he would dispose of them.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you so much for your help
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/