In the recent case of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) v Young [2020] NSWSC 529 the Supreme Court of NSW considered the circumstances where a landlord can legally dispose of goods left behind by a former tenant. Legally, a landlord’s right to dispose of goods tend to be governed by the lease. However, if there is not a covenant in the lease, or if the landlord would like further certainty, a disposal order can be obtained under the Uncollected Goods Act 1995 (NSW). In this case RMS claimed $132,000 for the costs of destruction, demolition and disposal of a houseboat left on their premises, plus $9,154.20 for disconnection of services and $2,585 for a survey. Fagan J was satisfied that the clause in the lease authorized the RMS to dispose of the fixtures, and therefore it was not necessary to invoke the Uncollected Goods Act. However, when commercial landlords are unsure, they should obtain an order for disposal of tenant’s goods, a relatively simple and inexpensive procedure. Such an order has the advantage as it is made with authority by the Court, conferring good legal title on a purchaser in cases where the goods are sold by private sale.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: