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  • Abandoned Items

    Interesting anecdote (from a colleague at work).

    A property was purchased in August 2008. Left at the property, but not listed in the chattels, was a sandpit (sounds like a semi-permanent structure, with shade cloth etc.). The vendor verbally agreed to remove the sandpit 'in a couple of weeks'.

    9 months later, after the new owner had re-filled the sandpit and refurbished it somewhat, the vendor turns up asking to take 'their' sandpit away. The owner says 'no, you left it here and didn't pick it up as agreed'.

    Next stop, the disputes tribunal, where the new owner argued that the sandpit had been abandoned, and was therefore now theirs.

    The tribunal disagreed, stating that the time period for abandonment is 6 YEARS, and so the vendor was still entitled to collect the sandpit left at the property. (What's more, it seems that the vendor could charge rent for it, if it has been used!).

    The moral - maybe add an 'abandoned goods' clause to your S&P:

    Any items left at the property by 5 pm on the date of settlement are deemed to have been abandoned

    (check with the lawyers for the right wording)

    Anyone else fallen foul of the 'abandoned goods' rules?

    cube
    DFTBA

  • #2
    Sandpit? What sandpit?
    You can find me at: Energise Web Design

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    • #3
      Agreed, it would dissappear in the night.

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      • #4
        The tribunal disagreed, stating that the time period for abandonment is 6 YEARS, and so the vendor was still entitled to collect the sandpit left at the property. (What's more, it seems that the vendor could charge rent for it, if it has been used!).
        Weird. I'd've thought the purchaser might've
        been able to charge rent because it was being
        'stored' (in effect) and denied the purchaser the
        full enjoyment of the property.
        Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Perry View Post
          I'd've thought the purchaser might've
          been able to charge rent because it was being
          'stored' (in effect) and denied the purchaser the
          full enjoyment of the property.
          Yes it would cut both ways. Its not unusual for people to leave chattels behind and turn up later on. Strictly speaking the 6 years is correct.

          I've long advocated the the standard REINZ form includes a clause deeming chattels abandoned but its such a small problem that its thought unnecessary.

          I once had a buyer client complaining about a bulldozer abandoned on his property. Its probably still there.

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          • #6
            Many years ago when we bought our first PPOR - you know the one, small boxy, tiny tiny kitchen - the vendor had left six garage trusses on the property.

            When we took possession, we sort of pondered how odd it was. No garage, just the trusses.

            We got our lawyer to write to the vendor and asked the vendor to remove said trusses by XXXX date, and if they weren't we would consider them ours and would remove/destroy as we sought fit.

            Never heard from the vendor or his lawyer. We gave them to my brother-in-law to build his garage. He was very pleased.
            Patience is a virtue.

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            • #7
              I respresented the owner of a large warehouse years ago. A tenant filled the buiding with junk and left. I got nowhere by civil action but when I got the police after them for criminal property damage, they cleaned up in just a few days.

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