Tenant has disappeared and left all belongings

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    Tenant has disappeared and left all belongings

    Hello all, I am new to the forum and looking for some advice or help if anyone has been in a similar situation.

    My tenants paid 1/2 of November's rent and told us they were going away for Christmas. They didn't pay December's rent nor January so are two months in arrears. We have tried to contact them by email, post, text and phone and they we have not heard from them since 27th November. The neighbours have not seen them since 4th December, they went away to the Philippines where the wife was from.

    So I have issued a section 8 notice on 9th January as they are 2 months in arrears and also the house is damaged inside and they have been late on rental payments for the last 6 months. I did this by email (sent a read receipt which hasn't been read) and also by post. I gave them until 23rd January to leave.

    As they are not in the country and all of their possessions including 2 uninsured cars are on the drive and the property doesn't have any electricity or gas, I am planning to apply to the courts on 23th January for a possession order. Is this the correct thing to do? I have rent guarantee and legal protection insurance and they just said to contact them after 23rd to start proceedings.

    What is the normal timescale, how does this work? I have read for abandonment it can sometimes take 6 months, we also need a complete refurb of the house before we can put it on the market again - and we are already owed £2100! What happens with their possessions and when can we change locks?

    Any advise or suggestions will be most gratefully received.

    Many thanks
    Caroline

    Property in England
    Tenants are husband/wife plus 4 children
    12 month contract from 8 Nov 2017 - Nov 2018
    Rent due monthly

    #2
    Yes, I think applying to the Courts for possession is the correct thing to do. You will then need bailiffs to give you back possession. I think you will have to store their possessions safely somewhere for at least 3 months and then dispose of them or sell them. I am not sure whether you would be able to offset any sale proceeds against the debt but that may be something to ask the court. Others here may also know.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Ekoor View Post
      I have rent guarantee and legal protection insurance and they just said to contact them after 23rd to start proceedings.
      If you're planning on making an insurance claim, follow the instruction of your insurance company on they want you to do when.
      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by KTC View Post

        If you're planning on making an insurance claim, follow the instruction of your insurance company on they want you to do when.
        Thank you. Yes I am following their instruction, i just am worried how long it will take as they haven't really given me any indication. Nor on what to do if they have left possessions. Basically just said contact us on 23rd and we will deal with it then. I just want an idea on when i can start getting people in for refurb quotes and start getting it back on the market as think we will be out of pocket for quite some time!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Ekoor View Post
          I have rent guarantee and legal protection insurance and they just said to contact them after 23rd to start proceedings.
          So doesnt really matter how long it takes - you get your rent, and I suspect absent tenants will cause little damage ?!?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
            I think you will have to store their possessions safely somewhere for at least 3 months and then dispose of them or sell them.
            The government's 'new' How to Rent information states "The landlord is entitled to dispose of possessions left in the property after, typically, 14 days." Things are never as simple as that, but if you become an 'involuntary bailee' of someone else's goods, then your overriding duty is to do what is right and reasonable in the circumstances. However, the goods can never become 'yours' by default.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by rfph1 View Post

              So doesnt really matter how long it takes - you get your rent, and I suspect absent tenants will cause little damage ?!?
              Well it does kind of matter because I am already out of pocket, have to find the money to pay for the rent while the court process is going through as well as the refurb of the house and only have enough money in that account to cover 3 months of rent due to having to pay self assessment recently. And you know what insurance companies are like they are bound to find some sort of clause to get out of paying me back for it all!

              Comment


                #8
                You have insufficient funds in that account to cover all your outgoings.
                Either transfer enough money in or sell the property.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I was hoping for some advice and support as this is our first ever rental property and we are just so confused with what to do and panicking about how long it will all take. As we cannot get hold of the tenants also I have not read many case studies were the tenants have disappeared with all of their belongings plus cars still in the house. The insurance legal services are not offering me much advice - just that I need to get my legal forms sent off to see if I will actually be covered.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    take a deep breath and submit the info as suggested after the 23rd. then follow their advice ....

                    Comment

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