Runaway tenant

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  • Runaway tenant

    Hi I have a property and the tenant has legged it not paying rent today (1st of month) no address left, no keys left, house is absolutley filthy! Mess everywhere. I still have his deposit. All belongings gone. He was 6 months into a 10 month AST. This is the first time this has happened - any advice greatly appreciated.

    Am I entitled to use deposit to clean the house?

    Am I allowed to re let the house? As from when? Should I change the locks?

    Many unopened gas bills in foyer(in his name) - presumably unpaid should I inform the gas company? If not the property may get cut off? No forwarding address left.

    I want to re let but need to do essential maintenance during July/August, Can I re let on a 4 month AST?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Abandonment

    This is a tricky situation and you need to be cautious.
    In a worst case senario, if you take over the property and re-let, and the tenant returns, he could in theory take you to the cleaners - courts have awarded thousands in compensation to the tenant.
    Having said that, it does not seem likely in this case, but it's not beyond the bounds of possibility for an tenant in the know legally to actually set-up a landlord for this.
    To be absolutely safe you need to apply to the court of a possession order. Alternatively I would suggest you contact your local authority's housing officers and take action to take over with their knowledge and approval.
    If your tenant have completed a proper application form at the start of this tenancy you will have enough information to do a quick trace on him. You can then have the place professionally cleaned and put to rights etc and follow up with a claim, including outstanding rent to the end of his contract, or at least until you re-let, against the tenant. If he's working you will stand a good chance of recovery with all costs awarded to you.

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    • #3
      I don't know how this would stand up in court, but, if I get an abandoned property, I usually wait for a month and then put a notice of abandonment on the door of the property stating that I am aware that the property hasn't been used for a month and for anyone with any info on the whereabouts of the tenant to call me, this I leave on the door for a week or so. If I don't get any response from either the tenant or anyone else, I enter, clean and relet. Also, if the tenant is receiving benefit, you can call your local benefit office and inquire if they are still claiming for the property, this will give you an indication whether they will be returning. Just hope and pray you don't have a "professional tenant".

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      • #4
        We have had this at one of our properties lately. The property was broken into and we had to enter to change the locks and make it secure. We left a visable notice giving the tenant a number to call and we also called the LA to stop HB. We only found out as our builder was working on another property at the back of ours! .. He saw the break in and lack of "Stuff" in the house!

        Anyway, sign has been up for 2 months and no contact.. HB have now told us they cannot track her so HB is stopped (LA wait 2 months so we did too). We shall now sort out the issues .. ie missing boiler and get it relet! .. the sign on the window may have got us a fully employed tenant so fingers crossed she checks out OK!
        GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

        Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

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          Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)?
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          21-07-2017, 15:06 PM
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