Tenant Vanished

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    Tenant Vanished

    Great website.

    Hoping for some very quick advice.

    Tenants are in AST for 3 months of a 6 month lease. I sent them a letter to do do a routine inspection, giving 24hrs notice, they did not reply. So i paid a visit to the property.

    They have left. Packed up and vacated the property. I spoke to my neighbour and they said, yes they moved out Wednesday!

    I have not gone into the house, but I do have a key.

    What's my next steps to secure the property, am i allowed to go into it to change the locks as they have not returned any of the keys?

    Once i have secured the property i intent to track and sue etc.

    Am I in my rights to change the locks etc???

    #2
    1. Don't whatever you do change the locks or disturb anything for the time being
    2. Put an abandonment notice on the front and rear exit doors to the premises (look on the internet for a free sample wording) giving the tenants at least 7 days notice of entry, and put your name, address and contact telephone number on it, and that they should take steps to collect their goods. (Laminate it to make it weatherproof)
    3. If you don't have anything within your AST concerning abandonment then you be prepared to store any of the tenant's belongings for 90 days.
    4. Unless the tenant returns all the keys and surrenders the tenancy then you have difficulties
    5. If you do decide to enter, be aware that you are leaving yourself open to court action from the tenant which could cost you a few £thousand, unless you obtain a Court Order for Possession which will take a while.
    Other contributors might be able to offer some suggestions too!
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

    Comment


      #3
      What if they put the keys through the door?

      So if they have left, not given me a forwarding address, broken the contract, you are saying I cannot legally go into the house until I have a possesion order in place - which could take months?

      After the 7 days has elapsed, can i then go in and change the locks?

      I am just a tad confused as to the correct procedures in this case!

      jen

      Comment


        #4
        The only legal way to regain possession that is foolproof is by a court order. There are other mechanisms that I have suggested but there is an element of risk if your tenants were to return.

        All I'm saying is that you should act with caution. If you tenants have posted ALL the keys back and have given you something in writing to say they have abandoned the premises then fair enough, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for reply.

          So, if they drop the keys off - can i sue them afterwards, and do I need to leave the house empty until the agreement has ended, or can I re-let to mitigate my costs?

          they leave the keys - contract over?!! is it up to me to accept it?

          What if they don't drop the keys off, I am just meant to leave it empty if they want to return?!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Jenny-Edwards View Post
            Thanks for reply.

            So, if they drop the keys off - can i sue them afterwards, and do I need to leave the house empty until the agreement has ended, or can I re-let to mitigate my costs?

            they leave the keys - contract over?!! is it up to me to accept it?

            What if they don't drop the keys off, I am just meant to leave it empty if they want to return?!
            If the tenants return the keys, you can enter. However, this does not mean you cannot sue for the other three months rent still owed, unless you get a new tenant in that time period.

            If they do not return the keys, the only legal, foolproof way is to get a court order obtaining possession. This could take months.

            The other way is just to go in, but you run the risk of the tenants returning and claiming illegal eviction, which is a criminal offence. Your call really.

            Comment


              #7
              What of they have left to rent anohter place, and have signed a new AST - does that mean they intended to leave on purpose?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Jenny-Edwards View Post
                What of they have left to rent anohter place, and have signed a new AST - does that mean they intended to leave on purpose?
                If you can prove they have done this, plus they have vacated taking all belongings with them then, I think you have a good case for arguing that the tenant has surrendered the property. However, as advised above, there is still a theoretical possibility they could return and claim illegal eviction. You would have to argue your case in court.

                The most pressing thing to do is to try to contact T. Have you no guarantor's contact number, work details - anything they supplied when your referenced them? If you are willing to grant them a formal surrender, you will have to get in touch with them.

                I do not understand why you cannot sue them for the outstanding rent up until the point when they and you have formally agreed to terminate the tenancy early. The first paragraph of thevaliant's post does not make much sense to me. I would have thought you could sue for the rent unless you do get someone else in.
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                  I do not understand why you cannot sue them for the outstanding rent up until the point when they and you have formally agreed to terminate the tenancy early. The first paragraph of thevaliant's post does not make much sense to me. I would have thought you could sue for the rent unless you do get someone else in.
                  I think I was using too many negatives. I meant the same as you, but have a lot of 'Nots' sitting in my sentence.....!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    There are lots of tracing agents - shop around
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                      There are lots of tracing agents - shop around
                      indeed there are.
                      Best Regards

                      PI Guy

                      Comment

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