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Can I remove goods/furniture left on my premises?


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I am newly joined and v. glad to have found this site. I hope I can find the answer to my question here, and thank you to anyone who can answer!

I have a slightly unusual situation in that I have a second home which has been lived in by a relative and her live-in partner up till now, on a bare licence (I considered an AST but as there was no way they could afford the market rate rent I didn't think it was advisable to go that route. They lived rent free, and free of all costs - ie, the council tax, TV licence, water rate, phone/internet and electricity bills were paid for them!!!!)

. The licence was only drawn up informally by me, but signed by both of them. However, they stayed on (by my tacit consent) longer than the date set on the licence. My relative moved out three months ago, and I let the (now former!) partner know that I would need vacant possession for the summer holidays. He's now moved out, and I'm in residence.

So far so good!

BUT (there's always a but.....).....he's left some furniture here. Not a huge amount, but quite bulky (table and chairs, computer desk and big office chair, and a large pine wooden bed), and lots of 'boxes of stuff' (!).

Now, I've said that, as a courtesy to him, he can have some leeway in moving it all out, and the boxes are in my garage here (dry), the furniture still in the house.

My question is, really - what happens if he doesn't move them out and take all his stuff away? He's an amiable enough chap, but he does have a habit of letting things slide, and also of leaving possessions on other people's property (my relative's father also has stuff of his in an outhouse!)

What's my legal situation if this just goes on and on, in terms of at what point (if ever?) can I dispose of the stuff myself?

I am really keen for this situation not to continue, though I appreciate he only has one car, and is now lodging elsewhere, so his storage space is limited himself (he is unlikely to afford, or want to afford, self-storage - round here it's aboout £60 a month - I checked! - especially if he can just store it free with me and my brother......)

I'm also uneasy that it's in the garage of the property he was residing at on 'informal terms'......

The relationship is friendly enough, and I don't want any hassle (who does......!), but I need to know what my 'last resort' is, if push has to come to shove.

Thank you very much indeed for any clues as to his and my rights/obligations!

PS - he's also left his broken down car (scrap value only - off road!) at my brother's, and is not keen on disposing of it. At what point (if ever!) can my brother dispose of it himself (he's happy too scrap it and give him the value of it from the dealer)

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Keep it simple,.

Are you saying these 2 lived there rent free and you paid all bills including utilities?

it sounds like you have agreed to a tenancy of sorts in writing but both have vacated.

Contact owner of the goods and say that if they do not collect by (14 days time) you will dispose of the items. And likewise your brother who had not agreement should do same about car.

The ex- tenant's circumstances are nothing to do with your situation of having stuff dumped on you so stop being so soft.


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Thank you so much for replying. Yes, for over a year the two of them lived rent and bill free.....

I did take legal advice before letting them in, and was told a bare licence was the better (ie, less worse!) option, but of course I was pretty much on tenterhooks about the whole thing, so am v. relieved they are now both out of the property. As I say, neither is 'bad' but having had such an easy time here I can understand why they would be loathe to leave.....

However, to be fair, they vacated as agreed and no trouble on that front, so that is good.

I am much reassured by the comment re the goods left on premises. Are you really saying though that all I have to do is given them 14 days notice and I am legally free to dispose of them as I wish? I would have thought it would be much more difficult than that, given the disposition of the law generally towards favouring tenants etc etc.

As I say, I don't want any harsh words if I can possibly help it, but I wanted to know my legal position if I start getting irritated by any ongoing delays (if there are any!). I'm the type that likes to check out my armoury before starting any battles!!!

Again, thank you very much for your reply.

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Hi again Julie,

14 days will be ample - it seems you have been too kind hearted and now these ex-tenants are taking advantage. They can always put the stuff in store (at their own expense) or they could try to sell the stuff but don't get involved in these arrangements - give the reason (if you are asked) that you want the space. I can't imagine that anyone in their right mind would complain after what you allowed.

Having just re-read your 1st post - do you think the male will think he can move back in after the summer period?

If so state in your letter to him 'that now the arrangement has ended you wish him to clear his items and if that has not happened in 14 days you will dispose of them'. That should cover that one and change any locks that he may have keys to. I would argue that because no money was paid there was no AST.


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Change the locks NOW.

14 days is ample for him to spring into action and remove his items.

Don't let it go on for more than 21 days.

Keep it business like and friendly BUT make sure you do it by letter preferably recorded or by hand to his hand.


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