How long after a tenant leaves can you discard their possessions they left behind?

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K
KD
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The tenant left early August with no forwarding address and no communication regarding if they intended to come back for their things. So we did not do the house checks in their presence.
In Aug/Sept we discovered the "now unlocked" single garage was full to the brim with personal and non-personal belongings.

In November a "friend of the tenant" came and asked for the tenant's belongings. They were turned away. No forewarning or list of what they wanted was given.

In December, I was given a court summons to a hearing for (amongst other things), the return or equivalent value of tenant's belongings in the garage.

In February at preliminary hearing, the judge representative told the tenant in order to claim he must produce a list of items and their equivalent value.

We have frequently had tenant's leave their assumed "unwanted" property behind so we have removed it after a period of time.

How long should an ex-tenant's property be kept after they have left? Not only in the garage and attic but they have left items strewn around the garden which makes it unsightly.
What should we have done and what is likely to happen now so I can plan my questions for cross-examination of tenant witnesses?

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25/02/2012 00:00

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