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The Weird and Not So Wonderful Things That Tenants Leave Behind

In this three-minute read, we look at the unusual things that
tenants have left behind after moving out and explain how landlords can avoid
post-tenancy clean-up bills.

End-of-tenancy
checks can spring all manner of surprises on landlords. Take, for example, the
landlord in north-west London who discovered an abandoned kitten when taking
possession of a property back in August.

The
tenants had shot through and left the black and white fluff ball behind.
Thankfully, our hero landlord rang the local rescue centre, The Mayhew, and
raised the alarm.

An
animal welfare officer was quickly on the scene and the feline fella, believed
to be about six weeks old, is now in good hands (and goes by the name of
Bubbles).

Thankfully,
this story had a happy ending, but not all end-of-tenancy inspection
discoveries are quite so cute and cuddly.

People
leave all sorts behind when they vacate a property ranging from your
run-of-the-mill stuff like fans, microwaves, clothes rails, chairs, and shoes. To
the downright weird such as false teeth, fish tanks (with fish), pot-bellied pigs
and wig collections.

The
detritus is usually shabby, often broken, and most definitely an annoyance to
the landlord left to sort out the mess (which is usually accompanied by a bin
bag or two of general rubbish).

But
a word of warning for landlords: before you head to the tip with a car-load of
tenant trash, make sure that all items can clearly be construed as rubbish.

A
landlord can face repercussions if they dispose of property belonging to a
former tenant without permission.

The
risk is that a landlord bins what looks like a tired old pot, and then the
tenant turns up weeks later claiming it was a family heirloom – that contained
Great Aunt Bertha’s ashes. Cue costly legal action.

Landlords
need to tread a careful line and check the wording of a tenancy agreement
before clearing a property.

If
items look like they have some value, you need to show that you’ve taken
reasonable steps to contact the former tenant and request collection. (A 21-day
deadline is standard, but it’s always worth getting legal advice first.)

In
some cases, landlords have to store the items, which can be bulky, while all
this plays out.

To
avoid playing babysitter to a former tenant’s bric-a-brac, be proactive from
the start of a tenancy. Keep a thorough inventory to deter a tenant from
running off with your belongings and prevent them from offloading unwanted
possessions onto you.

Also,
conduct regular inspections throughout a tenancy to ensure junk isn’t piling
up. If the property starts looking like something off the TV show Hoarders,
then you need to step in before it spirals out of control.

And
of course, when a tenancy is coming to an end, maintain regular contact with
tenants and make sure that they understand that they need to take their belongings
with them when they go.

All
this might sound time-consuming, but it will save you time and money. It also
means that the property will be in good condition and able to be re-let
straight away.

If you want to ensure your London property
doesn’t end up looking like a junkyard, get in touch with us here a Holland Properties. We
can handle the inventories, inspections and end-of-tenancy checks so that you
can rest easy.

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