Tenant vacated, owe rent? Regain access?

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    Tenant vacated, owe rent? Regain access?

    I am interested to find out whether tenant owe rent from the last rent payment to the day they give notice? In Decemeber I have noticed that October was their last rent payment. I sent them a letter to my Tenants asking for an update but no response *have been sending letters ever since. Last month I have received a letter from the Council seeking council tax payment from me dating back to November.
    This week I have found out the property is empty. Any thoughts?
    1. Do I have to seek a possession order to gain access to my property?
    2. Am I liable to all the utility bills and council tax
    3. Can I ask Tenant for rental arrears? and for repairs / damages and how?

    #2
    It sounds like the property has been abandoned. If I were you I would visit and gather evidence - take lots of pictures, keep records, take meter readings and then see if they've changed a week later, ask neighbours what they know. The letter from the Council Tax dept is also good evidence. If it all stacked up, I would change the locks to ensure the property is secure and put a note on the door for the tenant to contact you to get access. If there is no reply from multiple attempts to contact the tenant, I would send them a final note to say I believe it to be abandoned and am taking possession.

    Comment


      #3
      What was the expiration date if tenant's notice please?
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        Also if you can check with utility company as well to see if they hVe closed their account

        Comment


          #5
          1 - Strictly speaking yes, but I'd follow the advice of DPT57 in post #2
          2 - If the tenancy was periodic, yes as far as paying the council and the utility companies are concerned. You may have a contractual right to recover the costs from your tenant if the tenancy agreement says so.
          3 - Yes (not sure what you mean by how).

          The tenant owes rent until the end of the tenancy, whenever that happens.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by SpringGreen View Post
            I am interested to find out whether tenant owe rent from the last rent payment to the day they give notice?
            The tenant is liable to pay rent until the tenancy ends.
            That would be some time after the tenant gives notice.

            Has the tenant given notice?

            Originally posted by SpringGreen View Post
            2. Am I liable to all the utility bills
            The tenant is responsible for the utility bills until the tenancy ends

            Originally posted by SpringGreen View Post
            and council tax
            That depends on your tenancy agreement and the tenancy:
            1. If the agreement was for a fixed term, then the tenant is liable until the fixed term ends.
            2. If the tenancy has become a Statutory Periodic Tenancy, then the tenant is liable whilst they live there; landlord becomes liable if tenant leaves to live elsewhere (your agreement should allow you to reclaim this from the tenant).
            3. If the agreement was for an initial period and continuing (typically monthly) thereafter, then the tenant is liable until the tenancy ends.

            Comment


              #7
              DPT57,

              - The property was visited earlier this month and it is vacant, I will go back to do as per your suggestion.
              - No forwarding address for Tenant but the Council seem to have one. How a forwarding address can be obtained as they have changed jobs but declined to provide their new employers address.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                What was the expiration date if tenant's notice please?
                I don’t understand your questions but here are some more information.
                The Tenant have verbally told me on numerous occasion over their 3 + years tenancy that they are going to move out and each time I have asked for written letter but never have received any and they have remained at the Property. After contacting the Council, last month, the Tenant had sent a letter to say that they have moved out three months ago and back dated the letter. I wanted to know is this legal, if so, does that mean no rent owed? And I am liable for all the bills
                I was going to serve the Section 21 Notice but I think it takes at least 6 months notice and then go through the Courts. As the Property is vacant, can I take possession? How and what do I need to do to notify the Tenant I have taken possession as I do not have a forwarding address for them?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by blinko View Post
                  Also if you can check with utility company as well to see if they hVe closed their account
                  The Tenant have changed utility companies without notifying me – I wonder how I can check?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    1 – OK
                    2 – OK – the council seems to go by what the Tenant says, eg they have sent me a letter to give me notice and they have a tracking no but TT was not able to provide either to the Council. However, I have to proof to Council the Tenant is still in occupation ! (what can be use as evidence?) as their Neighbors prefer not to get involve.
                    3 –Great, if I can ask Tenant for rent arrears, repairs / damages. What I meant by ‘how’ is that, what is the process what I need to do to claim rent arrears? Eg Do I need to serve Section 21 and wait till Court order ? before I can I start the claim or can I start claim now? Is this through Small Claims Court. Once again, as the Tenant have not provided a forwarding address.

                    ‘The tenant owes rent until the end of the tenancy, whenever that happens.’ Regarding when the end of tenancy is. The Tenant claims they have moved out in November and claims they have notified me verbally their vacating date, the Council seems to agree with this (see above), however, I only regain access this month, can rental arrears be claimed to this date?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The meter readings have not change. Will the letter from the Council Tax department help by showing Tenant had moved out?
                      There are also damages to the Property, how can these be claimed along with the rental arrears? Does a Section 21 needs to be served?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If you intend to claim that the tenant has "surrendered the property by operation of law", then you must not do anything to contradict that position, so definitely no s21 or other notice. Having read your further post, I think you are going to need help with this, so if I were you I would ask for help from a housing solicitor.

                        You can use MCOL to sue the tenant for your losses.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi DPT57. Appreciate your replies, Tenant had not been serve any notice. I wanted to find out how I can regain access lawfully first, then ask for rental arrears and costs for repairs. For some reason I thought I need to serve some type of notice before I can use the MCOL.. Can I go straight to MCOL to claim rental arrears?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I'd tell the council they were still living there so they're liable for the council tax and that they have clearly had two tenancies running.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
                              I'd tell the council they were still living there so they're liable for the council tax and that they have clearly had two tenancies running.
                              If he does this, then he won't be able to claim abandonment and take possession of the property.

                              Comment

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