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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I was in a live-in relationship with a woman for 4 years. I

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I was in a live-in relationship with a woman for 4 years. I was previously married and divorced, whereas she was married but only separated from her former spouse.
During our live-in relationship, we were inhabiting my parents's property in London for these three of the four years. The first year was spent in rented accommodation. No rent was paid to my parents for staying in their house. I was the sole bread earner throughout the cohabitation. We have our own bank accounts and no joint accounts. There are no children from this cohabitation. All major possessions in the house (TV, audio / video components / furniture, appliances etc) were bought and paid (in cash or via my bank account) and the goods receipts are all in my name.
We stopped living together 10 months ago after she moved out of the house and left for India. She has her possessions (mainly her clothes, toiletries and makeup kit) still in the property. She is unlikely to return to the country, but I cannot be sure. We are both British Citizens. What is the best way to have her remove her possessions from my parents's property (where my parents and I still reside)? Can I send her reminders (via email and registered post), and if after a certain period of time she hasn't removed her possessions, can these possessions be removed from the property? What is my obligation to store her possessions, and for how long? If I remove her possessions after no replies from her, am I liable for damages or theft, in case she comes back to claim these possessions after a period of time?

Hi, thank you for your question. As you did not pay rent and it appears you had no formal agreement with your parents you would not be considered tenants and would only be considered lodgers of the property. Therefore, she would have been subject to no security of tenure and "evicted" upon reasonable notice and after which she would only need to be formally contacted a reasonable amount of times to collect her belongings after which it would be justified if you were to dispose of them.

You need to write to her to state:

-Exactly what items are left behind

-Where they are being stored

-For how long they will be available for collection before you dispose of them (which should be a reasonable time). As she is abroad it would be seen that a longer period of time than the usual 14 days would be required.

I would suggest that you email, text and send a letter by tracked delivery to her residence in India so that you have proof that she has been contacted about this.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you

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