This article will look at what the law says you must do if items belonging to someone else are left on your property.

This might cover one of the following scenarios

  • A tenant has left furniture
  • A car has been abandoned on your property
  • Your commercial tenant has left behind items after a forfeiture of lease
  • A student has moved out of your property and items have been left behind and you aren’t sure who they belong to
  • Trespassers have left items on your land

If items are left in or on your property, you cannot remove them unless you have given the owner reasonable notice that you intend to remove them.

Steps you should take

You must take steps to contact the individuals concerned to alert them that you have their items, it will be worth taking an inventory and pictures of the items. If you do not know where they are or how to contact them, you should make a notice stating the following:

  • Your name and address
  • A list of the items
  • Any sums you intend to charge upon collection for storage
  • If possible an estimation of the value of the items
  • A reasonable timescale for collection (this is deemed to be 14 days)
  • Your name and address
  • A list of the items
  • Where the items will be sold if this is your intention, and any storage cost incurred that will need to be repaid
  • A reasonable timescale for collection (again, this is deemed to be 14 days)

It will also be good practice to take photograph evidence of the notice in situ so that if you are asked you can provide evidence you have carried out the steps outlined.

If you can contact the individual, then you must write to them with the following information:

Once the 14 days in either case has passed, you can now sell or dispose of the items.

David Asker

David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance