Why is this acceptable?
We get calls every day about evicting a tenant. In addition to those phone calls the next most common are about chasing a tenant either for arrears or for stolen property. It amazes me how tenants think it is fair game to take a landlord’s property either when leaving under normal circumstances or when they have been removed as part of an eviction process. I would say about a third of tenants believe it is acceptable to take house hold items. However, when we try to chase for the return of said items the justice system clearly sides with that of the tenant. Once again showing a need for an overhaul.
Some of the more popular items we have seen tenants remove from their rental properties have included fridges, freezers, light fittings, televisions and sinks!
When we have been able to speak to the tenant they have provided a range of reasons including that they believed that the landlord would not notice that the item was missing. Of course not every kitchen needs a sink.
Another popular excuse is taking items by accident and forgetting that the item was not theirs, but not then not making any effort to return the stolen items. However, as previously mentioned the most common excuse given was simply that they wanted to take the items.
When we look at just our stats I would say on average the tenant is stealing just over £400 worth of belongings.
Of course when the landlord then disputes the return of the deposit and the tenant kicks off. Adding to more stress to all concerned.
It seems that completing an inventory has little deterrence from the motivated tenant who wants to free a landlord from their legal belongings
What is the strangest thing that a tenant has stolen from you?
Despite an inventory not deterring some I would still recommend ensuring you have a comprehensive inventory.