This is a question to the blog clinic from Julie (not her real name), who is a tenant.
If a landlord includes an ‘Addendum’ at the end of a tenancy agreement, stating that the white goods are gifted to the tenant, does this mean that the white goods have been given to the tenant (i.e., transfer of ownership and possession) and, thus, that the tenant can replace them and/or remove them from the property as they please.
Is the landlord allowed to claim them back at the end of the tenancy?
An example of such an Addendum:
“The landlord understands and the tenant agrees that all white goods are gifted to the tenant from the start of the tenancy. The landlord is not responsible for the repair or replacement of these items.”
Well, if the landlord says he is giving the white goods to the tenant, and evidences this by putting a clause saying this in the tenancy agreement, he can hardly deny it later.
Assuming the tenancy takes effect (i.e. assuming it is not cancelled before the tenancy starts), the items will be the tenant’s property. So the tenant can sell them, dump them or do whatever he likes with them. They will be his. Or hers. Or theirs (if it is a joint tenancy).
The landlord cannot expect to have the items back again if he has given them away! You can’t give something away and retain ownership of it. If you retain ownership, you have not given it away.
In fact, if the tenant left them behind when he vacated at the end of the tenancy, it is arguable that the landlord could object to this and maybe charge the tenant for the items’ removal.
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