Forgetfulness is a problem for many people – but leaving a Range Rover behind with the keys when moving home takes the foible to a whole new level.
That’s what one up-market tenant did when vacating an apartment block, according to Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham & Reeves Lettings, London.
And when he was contacted so the vehicle could be returned, the owner told the letting agency to keep the vehicle.
Unfortunately, they had to politely decline because of the complications of transferring vehicle ownership and someone eventually arrived to drive the Range Rover away.
Letting agents and landlords often find strange things left behind at their letting property.
Often the items are sofas, beds, furniture and even sun beds that are too big to move or won’t fit the tenant’s new home.
Benham & Reeves have listed some of the other possessions have left in their former homes:
- The unfurnished Marie Celeste flat stacked out with furniture, paintings, designer clothes and valuable Swarovski crystal figures.
- The tenant had left for overseas and agreed to let a lucky charity have her belongings
- A toupee in a biscuit tin
- A fully glazed window frame left on a bed
- Skis and skiwear
- Fake Grecian statues and columns cemented in place in a living room
- Numerous TVs, electrical appliances, fridges and washing machines
“‘Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something comes along to surprise you,” said Grundherr
“The Range Rover wasn’t even the only vehicle we’ve had left behind. It was just the most expensive. I probably thought about keeping it for a second too long but then realised it would’ve been hard to transfer the title into the company name.”
The law says any items left behind by a tenant still belong to them.
The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 lets landlords deal with abandoned possessions in a rental home – as long as the correct procedure is followed.
Send a letter by recorded delivery to the tenant – if you haven’t got a forwarding address, send it to the vacated property in case they have set up mail forwarding.
Include the details of the items, a reasonable date when you intend to dispose of the goods and your contact details. The law does not define a reasonable date.
If you sell the goods, the proceeds belong to the tenant but the landlord can deduct costs of sale and storage.