Abandoned?? Any views??

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    Abandoned?? Any views??

    Would be interested in views on this please:
    We rent out a house under an AST for a 6 month period (there are just over 3 months left) and the tenants now owe 2 months rent. The 1st rent was due December and the tenant said there were work issues and asked to pay at the end of the month - which was agreed to try and help them out. Come the 1st week of jan - no payment had been made.

    The agent gave 24 hrs notice to inspect and then attended the property with me - no answer. They left the front window unlocked so we entered to secure the property. There was damage to walls where kids had drawn all over them, damage to a new boiler and kitchen lights. Every room had a bed and mattress in however very minimal personal property left. Few pairs of shoes and a microwave etc. A few bits of crockery in kitchen. Nothing of value. Back door left unlocked, all downstairs windows at the back left wide open, brand new boiler switched off and damaged. We suspected they had done a runner. Photos were taken and they were emailed. They didn’t answer calls or messages.

    Facebook was a friend, and a bit of stalking showed them to be back in their country. Neighbours were spoken to by me and stated they hadn’t heard or seen them for a couple of weeks. This was 3 weeks ago now.

    A further email has been sent, and a WhatsApp message sent also which has been read but not responded to.

    I stuck an abandonment notice on the inside of the window incase that provoked a reaction by way of call or email - nothing. Likely because they are abroad and didn’t know. Haven’t changed the locks at this time.

    I eventually managed to get through to one of them on the phone and they said they wanted to come back and were looking at flights, mum had Covid etc. (I don’t believe that for a second) as some of the Facebook videos of her dancing around would suggest otherwise.

    the promise of a chat with the family and a call back didn’t happen and that was a week ago. I’ve been keeping an events log just for reference.

    The new Covid laws mean a 6 month notice period for section 8 notices, and I can’t even issue a section 21 notice until month 4 of tenancy. Tenancy is due to end in 3 months regardless and they aren’t even in the country. Have posed the question to them about handing the property back and sourcing somewhere new if they do return. No reply to that. Have tried to call since but it just rings out or gets diverted.

    Feels like they just don’t want to return, are in debt but just want to inconvenience everyone else by not communicating and trying to keep a place over here as a future option if they do return. Given the travel restrictions they won’t be flying back here anytime soon which will mean the property would have been vacant for 2 months, breaching the tenancy agreement - along with all the other breaches! It’s been minus 2 over here in the past couple of weeks so I’ve had to put the boiler back on and set it to low in order to prevent potential frost damage/burst pipes - another tenancy agreement breach right there.

    normally after 14 days court proceedings could have started for possession however now it’s 6 months. Really can’t leave it 6 months (and then likely another 4 months for a hearing date) with no money coming in.

    they didn’t even tell the council or energy providers their details, I’ve have to sort all that out recently to make sure their names are on there!

    judging by the pile of post on the door mat they are in debt from others also.

    such a rubbish situation. I have personally served a section 8 notice at the address giving 6 months notice the day after their 2nd months rent was due (and got a police officer to attend also and film it). However they are abroad regardless so won’t know about that.

    so frustrated. Any suggestions or views?



    #2
    I thought my property had been abandoned as they disappeared for nearly 6 weeks. Unfortunately they returned.

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      #3
      Operating on the basis of an implied surrender or even serving a common law Notice to Quit is probably your best bet, although it does sound like there is a risk that they will return and sue you for illegal eviction. However, on a purely financial basis, this may be your best option, (assuming there is no local authority licensing scheme applicable). If you have nothing in writing responding to your overtures then I would send them a final email/facebook message saying you believe that their tenancy is at and end through implied surrender and intend to re-let. If I got not response to that I would crack on.

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