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View Full Version : Can LL arbitrarily remove things from our house?



X10
28-03-2009, 00:23 AM
Hi all, I've been living in rented accomodation now for a couple months and still getting used to it all.

Recently our landlord sent us an E-Mail he was going to remove the giant mirror in the hallway from our house and the next day promptly removed it.

We all use the mirror and were quite dissapointed he did this and voiced our concern as politely as possible, but he seems to not care.

Is he allowed to just come and take things like that?

If so, what else is he allowed to remove, and what sort of recourse do we have against it, if any?

Thanks all,
X10

Lawcruncher
28-03-2009, 09:36 AM
The only way he can remove stuff is if he reserved the right to do so in the tenancy agreement. Next time do not let him in. If he has a key, change the locks whatever the agreement says.

X10
28-03-2009, 09:53 AM
Hello Lawcruncher, thanks for the response.

The tenancy agreement does not state anything about removing anything from the communal areas.
However, in a follow-up E-Mail LL says that as it was the family home, the tenancy agreement does not cover items in the communal areas and he reserves the right to remove such items from the house as he chooses.

I've only been a tenant for 2 months so far, he hasn't been terrible and I don't want to cause waves if not necessary.
I would think changing the locks on his old family home would be a bit aggressive?

Should I maybe bring it up that it's not in the TA and therefore he should at least replace the mirror with a similar one?

Thanks,
X10

Ericthelobster
28-03-2009, 09:58 AM
in a follow-up E-Mail LL says that as it was the family home, the tenancy agreement does not cover items in the communal areas and he reserves the right to remove such items from the house as he chooses.Never mind what he interprets after the event what the agreement covers; if the agreement doesn't say that then he can't claim it does afterwards!

It can be a problem renting a property which an LL has lived in (whether or not (s)he intends to return to live there) for this sort of reason; also (s)he may well have emotional attachments to the property which wouldn't be there in an investment property.

Lawcruncher
28-03-2009, 10:08 AM
as it was the family home, the tenancy agreement does not cover items in the communal areas and he reserves the right to remove such items from the house as he chooses.

I can think of a few one word responses to that. It may have been his family home, but it is your home now. When you viewed the property the mirror was there. I doubt the mirror was a clincher in your deciding to take the property, but it was still a feature of the property.

You say you do not want to make waves and that is fair enough. However, you have a choice: make a stand now, or wait for the next occasion for him to ride roughshod over you. What next? Take out the cooker and replace it with a primus stove?

Change the locks. It is not agressive and entirely justifiable. It is your home for the duration of the tenancy, landlord's family home or not. If he is that sentimental about it he should not be letting it.

BE BLOODY, BOLD AND RESOLUTE

(Lady Macbeth)

mind the gap
28-03-2009, 11:40 AM
I can think of a few one word responses to that. It may have been his family home, but it is your home now. When you viewed the property the mirror was there. I doubt the mirror was a clincher in your deciding to take the property, but it was still a feature of the property.

You say you do not want to make waves and that is fair enough. However, you have a choice: make a stand now, or wait for the next occasion for him to ride roughshod over you. What next? Take out the cooker and replace it with a primus stove?

Change the locks. It is not agressive and entirely justifiable. It is your home for the duration of the tenancy, landlord's family home or not. If he is that sentimental about it he should not be letting it.

BE BLOODY, BOLD AND RESOLUTE

(Lady Macbeth)


We, perhaps not 'bloody', exactly. Look where that got Lady M. You wouldn't want to be wandering around in your dressing gown shrieking and endlessly washing your hands, would you?

Otherwise I agree totally with LC. Your LL is a cad. Don't put up with it.

theartfullodger
28-03-2009, 11:56 AM
LL mentioned "communal areas". Do you rent the WHOLE property or, for example, a flat in a building with 3 flats & stairs & a hall?? If it is that situation does the LL not have the right to do stuff/change the "communal areas"??

Cheers

Artful

X10
28-03-2009, 14:32 PM
It is a house with 4 rooms. I (and my girlfriend) rent our own room in the house with 2 other couples who also have their own rooms. The 4th room is not occupied at present.
On our AST is states "The PROPERTY" as being specifically our room at the address.

Does this change matters?

X10

Preston
28-03-2009, 20:37 PM
It is a house with 4 rooms. I (and my girlfriend) rent our own room in the house with 2 other couples who also have their own rooms. The 4th room is not occupied at present.
On our AST is states "The PROPERTY" as being specifically our room at the address.

Does this change matters?

X10

Hi,

Yes, it might.

I think there are two separate issues here.

a) what furniture, fixtures and fittings have been provided as part of your tenancy. Ideally these should be listed in the agreement or in an inventory. If they are not, it may be difficult to work out what must stay and what the landlord is entitled to take away. If the items are in the rooms for which you have a tenancy, then the presumption that they may not be taken away is certainly stronger than if they are in a communal area. If the items were there when you were shown around the property and made your decision, then the presumption that they are for your use would be very strong. Even better if you or the landlord made it clear that all the items would be needed or would remain throughout the tenancy.

b) whether the landlord is allowed to let himself in to the property to take things away. The answer to this is more straightforward. He is not allowed into the rooms for which you have a tenancy without your permission. If there are items in your room which he is otherwise entitled to take away, he must make arrangements with you to do so. But he probably is allowed into communal areas which you are entitled to use, but which are not part of your tenancy.

So, in summary, my guess is that if the mirror was in a communal area, it is not listed in your inventory and was not mentioned during any of your discussions or negotiations with the landlord, then he may have been entitled to take it away.

Preston

X10
29-03-2009, 00:22 AM
Hi Preston, thanks for the response! I have responded to some of the points you made.


Hi,

Yes, it might.

I think there are two separate issues here.

a) what furniture, fixtures and fittings have been provided as part of your tenancy. Ideally these should be listed in the agreement or in an inventory.


Only the items in our room are on the inventory, there is no inventory of the communal areas or other tenants rooms

Fixtures that provide the use of gas and water are covered under the Tenancy Agreement, though no specific item is mentioned, simpy that the LL will provide and upkeep these.



....If the items were there when you were shown around the property and made your decision, then the presumption that they are for your use would be very strong. Even better if you or the landlord made it clear that all the items would be needed or would remain throughout the tenancy.


Yes, they were there when we were shown around, and my girlfriend and I made specific reference to them and asked if they were going to be part of the house when we move in and the LL said they can be if a strong desire was made so by the tenants - Which we made and so he agreed to leave them.



b) whether the landlord is allowed to let himself in to the property to take things away. The answer to this is more straightforward. He is not allowed into the rooms for which you have a tenancy without your permission. If there are items in your room which he is otherwise entitled to take away, he must make arrangements with you to do so. But he probably is allowed into communal areas which you are entitled to use, but which are not part of your tenancy.


That last bit there has me a bit confused, and is on a tangent to this topic, but are the communal parts of the house not part of the tenancy??



So, in summary, my guess is that if the mirror was in a communal area...

Yes


... it is not listed in your inventory
Yes (as I mentioned above, there is no inventory for the communal areas)


...and was not mentioned during any of your discussions or negotiations with the landlord
This bit we don't tally on here, as it was talked and discussed during both the viewing and the key/contract handover. We were led to believe it would be part of the house.

X10

Preston
29-03-2009, 09:49 AM
Yes, they were there when we were shown around, and my girlfriend and I made specific reference to them and asked if they were going to be part of the house when we move in and the LL said they can be if a strong desire was made so by the tenants - Which we made and so he agreed to leave them.X10

Well, it seems clear then that the landlord should not have removed the mirror.


That last bit there has me a bit confused, and is on a tangent to this topic, but are the communal parts of the house not part of the tenancy??X10

Sorry, the point I was making is that a typical arrangement in a shared house is that the individuals have a tenancy of their own room or rooms and that they also have rights to use (but do not have exlusive possession of) the communal areas. This means that the landlord can reserve the right (and usually does) to enter the communal areas without your specific permission, wheereas he or she can only enter your own rooms with your permission.

One of he consequences of this is that you are perfectly entitled to change the locks on your own rooms, but probably not on the communal areas.

But you can ask your landlord to return the mirror.

Good luck.

Preston

X10
29-03-2009, 18:07 PM
Sorry, the point I was making is that a typical arrangement in a shared house ...

No no, don't be sorry, I am glad you mentioned it, I was just saying it was a tangent and worried that if I asked for clarification it might get lost in the thread - I'm very grateful you explained!

Thanks to everyone who has responded to far.
I'm getting everyone's final opinion on the matter, but it seems most people in the house don't want to upset the landlord and get his back up about the mirror. I think it might set a bad precedent for the future, but I'm not going to make waves if no one else will.

It's been very interesting getting to understand the rights we have and don't have and the grey areas, even if just surrounding a mirror.

Thanks again to all!

X10

mind the gap
29-03-2009, 18:19 PM
I can understand that you don't wish to 'make waves', but if nobody objects when he removes things from the communal areas, what's to stop him systematically dismantling the kitchen? Or the bathroom?

I do feel that, if nothing else, you should write to him (it does not have to be on behalf of everyone, just yourselves), saying that you feel he has deceived you over the property, since the impression/promise was given when you viewed the house, that what you saw was what you got.

Your only other recourse is to move out as soon as you legally can.

Miserable sod! Let's hope the mirror cracks when he looks in it.