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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71146
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My lodger has vacated her room in early-August 2014 owing the

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My lodger has vacated her room in early-August 2014 owing the entire rental charge for the final quarter of her tenancy agreement which ended 30th September 2014. She also owes me for the food, litter and vets' fees as a result of maintaining her four cats at my home. She has departed, leaving virtually all of her worldly belongings, and her four pet cats. Since her departure, I have, on 30th October 2014 written to her, requesting the removal of all of her belongings, including her cats, by 19th December 2014. There is no clause in our tenancy agreement stating how any belongings remaining in my home, following her departure, are to be dealt with. She has not removed any of her property by the 19th December, and they all remain here as at today. What recourse do I have in law to 'dispose' of her property, including her pet cats?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Do you have her contact details? Don't give them to me but do you have them?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have an e-mail address, and a mobile number. I believe she is living with her father whose address I have.

You are under a duty to take reasonable care of her goods. What is reasonable is very badly defined in law. That is probably deliberate though really because obviously the law demands a greater level of care the higher the value of the item.
In fairness though, if she left in August 2014 and you have been looking after her pets since then I don't think any court would criticise you for disposing of them some four months later.
I note you have written to her already. You do need to contact her making clear exactly what you intend to do with these items. Merely inviting her to collect may not be sufficient. You don't have to give her long. One to two more weeks is fine but it is important that is done.
If you still hear nothing then you can dispose of them.
You do need to comply with the Animal Welfare Act 2006 though obviously. You do need to move them on humanely. You can always give them to a rehoming organisation.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. This is the opinion I expected. I always treat animals humanely: I have three cats of my own. I will try to determine where exactly my x-lodger is residing and make certain that she receives a final request to remove her belongings, by a deadline which, I expect, will be at least three weeks from now. Thank you again.

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 Jomo1972’.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your advise. My question is answered, and I therefore shall close this enquiry.

No problem.
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