Residential Tenancies Act 2010 No 42
Current version for 4 July 2014 to date (accessed 22 December 2014 at 00:29)
Part 6Division 2

Division 2 Goods left on residential premises

126   Application and interpretation

(1)  This Division (other than section 134 (2A)) applies to goods or rubbish left behind on residential premises by a tenant or an occupant of the premises after vacant possession of the premises is obtained or the premises are abandoned.
(2)  In this Division:

disposal notice means a notice given under section 127.

perishable goods means perishable goods or rubbish to which this Division applies.

personal document means:

(a)  a birth certificate, passport or other identity document, or
(b)  bank books or other financial statements or documents, or
(c)  photographs and other personal memorabilia, or
(d)  licences or other documents conferring authorities, rights or qualifications, or
(e)  any other record, or class of record, prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition.

127   Disposal notices

(1)  The landlord or landlord’s agent must give the former tenant notice that the goods will be disposed of after 14 days (in the case of goods other than personal documents) or 90 days (in the case of personal documents) after the day on which the notice is given unless they are first claimed.
(2)  Notice may be given in any of the following ways:
(a)  in writing in any manner permitted under this Act,
(b)  by post to the former tenant or the former tenant’s legal personal representative at the last forwarding address known to the landlord,
(c)  orally in person or by telephoning the former tenant.
(3)  Notice may be given by posting a notice in a prominent position on the residential premises if the landlord is unable (for a period of more than 2 days) to give notice to the former tenant in a manner set out in subsection (2).
(4)  This section does not apply to perishable goods.

128   Perishable goods

A landlord or landlord’s agent may remove or otherwise dispose of goods that the landlord or landlord’s agent reasonably believes are perishable goods at any time after vacant possession of the residential premises is given or the residential premises are abandoned.

129   Storage of goods

The landlord or landlord’s agent may remove goods from residential premises and store them in a safe place pending disposal or collection of the goods in accordance with this Division.

130   Disposal of non-perishable goods (other than personal documents)

(1)  The landlord or landlord’s agent may dispose of goods (other than personal documents) in accordance with this section if the former tenant or other person entitled to possession of the goods fails to collect or make arrangements to collect the goods within 14 days of a disposal notice being given in accordance with this Division or within such further period as may be agreed.
(2)  The landlord or landlord’s agent may dispose of any such goods by selling them or in any other lawful manner.
(3)  The landlord or landlord’s agent must keep a record of goods disposed of under this section.
(4)  A landlord or landlord’s agent who sells goods under this section must, if requested to do so by the former tenant or other person entitled to possession of the goods, pay the sale proceeds to the former tenant or other person. The landlord or landlord’s agent may deduct from the proceeds an occupation fee calculated in accordance with section 132 and the reasonable costs of the sale.
(5)  This section does not apply to perishable goods.

131   Disposal of personal documents

(1)  The landlord or landlord’s agent may dispose of goods that are personal documents in accordance with this section if the former tenant or other person entitled to possession of the documents fails to collect or make arrangements to collect the documents within 90 days of a disposal notice being given in accordance with this Division or within such further period as may be agreed.
(2)  The landlord or landlord’s agent may dispose of personal documents as follows:
(a)  by returning them to the authority that issued the documents,
(b)  if it is not reasonably practicable to return them to that authority, in any other lawful manner that the landlord or landlord’s agent thinks fit.
(3)  The landlord or landlord’s agent must not dispose of personal documents in any manner that results in personal information about a tenant or other person becoming publicly available.

132   Collection of goods by former tenants or persons entitled to goods

(1)  A person who is entitled to possession of goods may claim the goods at any time before they are disposed of.
(2)  The landlord or landlord’s agent must deliver up the goods to a person who claims them if the landlord or landlord’s agent is satisfied that the person is entitled to the goods.
(3)  The landlord or landlord’s agent must not require a person who claims goods to pay any amount to obtain them, other than an occupation fee in accordance with this section.
(4)  The landlord or landlord’s agent may require a former tenant or person who claims goods to pay an occupation fee for each day the goods are left on the residential premises or stored by or on behalf of the landlord, if the quantity of goods left on the premises by a former tenant or occupant is sufficient to prevent the landlord from renting the premises.
(5)  The occupation fee payable under this section:
(a)  must not exceed an amount that is equal to the rent that would have been payable under the residential tenancy agreement for each day the goods are left on the premises or stored, and
(b)  must not exceed, in total, the amount of rent for 14 days.
(6)  The Tribunal may, on application by a landlord or landlord’s agent, order that a former tenant or person who claims goods pay to the landlord or landlord’s agent an occupation fee of an amount that does not exceed the maximum amount payable under this section.

133   Landlord may seek Tribunal direction

(1)  This section applies if the tenant abandons the residential premises or dies.
(2)  The Tribunal may, on application by a landlord, make any one or more of the following orders:
(a)  an order authorising the removal or other disposal of goods,
(b)  an order directing that notice of any action or proposed action in relation to goods be given to the former tenant, the legal personal representative of a former tenant or any other person,
(c)  an order authorising the sale of goods,
(d)  an order as to the manner of sale of goods,
(e)  an order as to the payment of the proceeds of sale of goods,
(f)  any ancillary order that the Tribunal, in the circumstances, thinks appropriate.
(3)  A landlord or landlord’s agent must deal with goods in accordance with an order of the Tribunal under this section and not in accordance with the other provisions of this Division relating to disposal of goods.
(4)  This section does not apply to perishable goods.

134   Orders by Tribunal relating to goods

(1)  The Tribunal may, on application by the former tenant or a person who has an interest in goods, make any of the following orders:
(a)  an order requiring the landlord to pay compensation for goods disposed of by the landlord or landlord’s agent otherwise than in accordance with this Division,
(b)  an order requiring the landlord to pay compensation for goods damaged after being left on the residential premises and before being claimed by the person entitled to them,
(c)  an order that the landlord or landlord’s agent deliver goods into the former tenant’s or other person’s possession,
(d)  an order requiring the landlord or landlord’s agent to pay the proceeds of sale, or an amount equivalent to the value of the goods, to the former tenant or person,
(e)  any ancillary order that the Tribunal, in the circumstances, thinks appropriate.
(2)  The Tribunal may also, on an application under this section or by a landlord, order the tenant or other person to pay an occupation fee of not more than 14 days rent.
(2A)  The Tribunal may, on application by a former co-tenant, make an order requiring a tenant or co-tenant, or a tenant or co-tenant’s agent, to deliver goods left behind on residential premises by the former co-tenant after the co-tenant vacated the premises (in circumstances where one or more other tenants or co-tenants continue to occupy the premises) into the former co-tenant’s possession.
(3)  An application for an order under this section must be made within the period prescribed by the regulations.

135   Effect of disposal of goods

(1)  A purchaser of goods sold by a landlord or landlord’s agent in accordance with this Division acquires a good title to the goods freed and discharged of any interest of the former tenant or any other person who would otherwise have an interest in the goods.
(2)  A person does not incur any liability in respect of the removal or sale or other disposal of goods in accordance with this Division or in accordance with an order of the Tribunal.
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