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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69365
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Can you please help me. I rented a house in East Sussex

Customer Question

Hi
Can you please help me.
I rented a house in East Sussex and when I left my friend took over the tenancy. We had an agreement, after everything that I had done for her, that my belongings could be stored there for a while. I will admit that it has been 9 months now however I was trying to sort things out (I live in Essex now and do not have my own house) and was going to get my stuff into storage. Unbeknown to me as the email went into my spam and I never saw it, on the 16th October the landlord emailed me as follows: I was at the house today and note that a number of your possessions are still there. It is unfair on them to have to put up with this 9 months after you vacated. Please arrange for all of your remaining possessions to be removed within the next couple of weeks. If I do not receive a response to this email your possessions will be regarded as abandoned and no longer required and will be disposed of. Although I did not know of this email I contacted my friend yesterday and informed her that I was removing my stuff a week oon Saturday and asked if she had sold my suite (I asked her to) as I would need bigger van and storage if she hadn't. I received no response. I tried to contact her again today and she said that the landlord had emailed me. I found the email and have been phoning and messaging to try to get answers. The landlord has now emailed again to say that my stuff has been taken to the tip!!! It's all I have in the world (I was awarded nurse of the year last year and my award is there also which I can never replace). There are thousands of pounds worth of stuff in my boxes. I made contact within the 2 weeks that the landlord gave me yet they have dumped my stuff already. My friend did not alert me. What can I do? Pleae help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The email states that I must clear my stuff in 2 weeks. They have dumped it before 2 weeks are up. Also he did not confirm that i got the email. My friend did not call me or warn me. They just took it upon themselves to dump my stuff when they knew it was everything i owned. I was in touch to arrange collection yesterday so how could they tip my stuff today. I contacted the tenants within the 14 days

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
OK.
So do you have a question about this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I think they have acted illegally. I made contact within the 2 weeks and they have already dumped my stuff. What can I do

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

And i never saw the email as it went into my spam. No-one confirmed i had received it

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I am really sorry but you are over estimating your position.
If these items have been there for nine months then a court probably would accept you abandoned them I'm afraid. They did send an email ultimately and it is not their fault that it went to spam. There is case law to the effect that people should check their spam boxes in any event.
The only point you could raise is that it might have been reasonable for them to phone you as well but it is not the best I'm afraid.
You can always sue at the small claims court for the value of the goods and actually they might settle. If they contest the matter though you will have to show that you didn't abandon the property and it would be irresponsible of me to tell you there is a strong chance.
I'm very sorry but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have kept in contact with my friend and we have discussed my belongings so they knew that they weren't abandoned.....in fact they were making use of of some of it, suite, washing machine etc. My bone of contention is that they knew I was coming to get it and I did respond within the 2 weeks. Surely I have a point. I really did not abandon my stuff. I did a lot for my friend and we agreed that I could keep my stuff there while I got settled in Essex. This is her partner that has done this

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Your friend may have done but the landlord didn't and he is the person who removed them.
If she agreed specifically to keep them then you could rely on that but then you should be suing your friend rather than the landlord.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I genuinely didn't know that the landlord had a right when it was my friends paying the tenancy. I would hate to sue my friend. This is horrible. I have emailed the landlord and am awaiting his reply

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Well, it is a little more complicated in relation to who has rights over the property than that.
But the problem is that your friend must have either agreed to his action or failed to mention to him that she had agreed otherwise he couldn't have disposed of these goods. How would he even have know about it otherwise?
Unless you can prove that she specifically agreed to keep these items and she conveyed that to the landlord and he ignored that there isn't a claim against him unless you can show that he didn't take proper steps to contact you
There is a better claim against her.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

He only sent one email which genuinely went into my spam. He had my telephone number and yet never called or left a message. I suppose it just comes down to decency.

Last question i promise, how can he tip my stuff today when he was aware that I messaged my friend yesterday which he confirms in his email from today

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I don't think there would be any difficulty proving it went to spam.
The problem is that isn't his fault. There is case law that a person should check their spam folder.
I suppose you could try to argue that one email was inadequate when he had your phone number but that is a risk.
I read his email to say that the items had already been dumped? It would be harder to argue that his actions were reasonable if he knew that you intended to collect.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes. His email of today reads:

I undertand that you contacted Cami by Facebook (we use messenger).

I received no response in respect of my email of 16th September so I have commenced clearing your abandoned possessions to the local tip.

The settee is still in the house, so, if you want it, please arrange to collect it within the next 14 days, otherwise it too will be disposed of.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I read that as a notification that he had already done this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes. I have now been in contact with my friend's partner. He has informed me that the landlord started emptying the property last week!!! That's only days after he sent that first email. That stated that I had 2 weeks to remove my stuff. He waited a week. His email said if I didn't reply but he only waited a week........what if I had been on holiday, or in hospital which I have been recently? This has got to be all wrong.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
It depends on the dates. He should give you the length of time that he said he would. Although I suppose you still didn't remove even within that length of time. If there was early removal you could rely on that although you still have the hurdles I mentioned above.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

o

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, there might an argument if the dates are wrong

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