I randomly get a phone call one morning from the Police. One of the properties that I manage was found to be full of stolen goods and the tenants no where to be found.
I head straight to the property to find a few Police Officers and a couple of people who apparently owned the Hire Company where the goods had been stolen from. As it turned out my tenant was a builder and had hired items that he had not returned and stolen some from building sites. The next thing I know is that I am been filmed on a cell phone from one of the guys that had had his gear stolen and he was calling me names. I “said excuse me, why are you taking photos of me?” His reply was “the whole World needs to know about you and your partner and the thieves that you are!” I was floored. He thought I was the tenant!!!! Thank god the Officer corrected him and he couldn’t apologise enough!
The Police obviously wanted to catch this guy and I had to act as bait! I managed to get hold of his partner and arranged to meet her at the property to collect some of her belongings. The Police were hiding in neighbouring properties hoping that he would turn up too. He didn’t and my few minutes of been important were over and she went on her merry way.
So we assumed that the tenants had abandoned the property as that was the last contact with either of them. We proceeded to have all of their belongings collected and put into storage and make the application to the Tenancy Tribunal to terminate the tenancy.
We have our day in Court and she turns up! With a Lawyer!! As she was on the tenancy agreement she was allowed to be heard but her Lawyer just made himself look like an idiot (as they all do in the Tribunal). They now claim that they had not abandoned the property and that they had just gone away on holiday and that I had unlawfully removed their belongings.
So I have this ‘summary of facts drawn up’. This was written up for me by a friend who was an ex Police officer. I hand a copy up to the Adjudicator, to the tenant and her Lawyer and I start reading it with the owner of the property sitting right next to me.
The adjudicator starts reading it out allowed when the owner next to me points out the last sentence on the last page. I was shocked to read it said at the end “that basically she can get f*#%” I had to interrupt and ask for that copy to be returned and I will hand her an amended copy to which the owner had frantically scribbled out the last sentence. She had a bit of a smirk on her face and as she handed it back she asked “is that because of the last sentence on the last page?” Thank fully the tenant or her Lawyer failed to notice this and as this was put in there for my own benefit to proof read before attending the Tribunal, I also failed to notice it!
The adjudicator ruled in our favour under the ‘balance of probabilities’ I was correct in assuming abandonment.