Tenant left without notice

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    Tenant left without notice

    Hi all, I need some urgent advice...

    I have a tenant has not paid rent for 2 months (and only part paid rent since Jan 2010) and when I visited the property, windows were open, side gate was damaged and the neighbours advised me that the tenants had moved out 3-4 weeks ago. Worried about what was going on inside the property, I called the tenant (with no response) and left a message advising her that I would enter the property if I did not hear back. So I did, to find everything of hers was gone and there was minimal damage/untidiness inside.

    Not knowing where the tenant was or who has keys to my property, I immediately arranged for the locks to be changed - front and back doors.

    1. Is there anything I need to do legally to reclaim my property so I can tidy the place and try to re-let? The contract has gone beyond the fixed period and is now in periodic tenancy. Do I need to serve the section 8/21 notices?

    2. Should I try to contact her workplace to speak to her and resolve before taking legal action?

    3. Am I allowed to try re-letting whist she is still in arrears with rent?

    4. How do I reclaim the money owed to me?

    Appreciate any help anybody can offer. Thanks!

    #2
    Tenant done a moonlight flit

    I think you have acted perfectly reasonably.

    I don't believe any notices are necessary.

    Devote your attentions to getting the place relet then decide whether to go for a county court judgement against the previous tenant, for which there is a window of opportunity stretching forward, theoretically for some six years.

    You should not harrass the former tenant at work.

    There is protocol to the effect that the sum you consider owed should be demanded with seven or so days to pay before litigation is commenced. You can apply for a simple judgement online; probably no defence will be filed. If you do indeed know where the ex tenant works you could try to secure an order for attachment against earnings in the event you are successful in obtaining judgement. Dont bother suing for damage to the property just for unpaid rent up to the end of the fixed term. Best not to give an opponent a hook on which to hang their hat, however tenuous.


    Let the word go out "Dont mess with the Derby Landlord!"

    Comment


      #3
      Can you confirm that the tenant has paid rent since the tenancy went periodic? She didn't just leave on the last day of her fixed term and not tell you?

      Comment


        #4
        What Quarterday said...but in future you might want to get some sort of protection against this kind of thing. This company called TLC gives you the first 6 months rent up front (and I think in blocks of six months after that) and they protect themselves against people who don't pay. I shall link
        ww w.total letcare.co .uk (without the spaces...won't let me link because I'm a newb)

        Comment


          #5
          do you work for them or are you connected with them or have you just used them - I think we should be told!
          Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

          Comment


            #6
            I am the boss . No, I haven't used the landlord cover/rent thing, but they're a subsidiary of the people I use for my boiler/electricity insurance.

            Comment


              #7
              Check tenants

              I have been in the same position, as quite new to this whole landlord business i learnt my lesson. I check my tenants so thoroughly now to make sure i am not burnt again- have a look at lettingref they really helped me pick out the bad eggs. its pretty quick too!! i lost a lot when my tenant bailed on me. We had a lot more damage mind!!

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for the advice....

                The tenant paid rent for the 1st 6months ok, then she was in financial difficulty so I dropped her rent for 3 months (regrettably now!)....From Jan 2010 she then started paying less giving excuses like she had to pay the boilerman....time went by as I work abroad. She continued to pay less until June where she then didn't pay anything at all....only when I came back next week to visit the property did I realise she had done a runner!

                If I don't serve notice, am I legally allowed to access the property? I was told that if I don't serve notice she could in fact sue me?! Is that right?

                I'm worried that doing the sensible thing, cleaning the place up and re-letting will have a bad effect on any future claims? The only consolation is that the place has not been detroyed, mostly superficial damages....but did I mention that she committed credit card fraud under my name at that address??!! *sigh*

                Thoughts?....thanks.

                p.s. loving the moto quarterday!

                Comment


                  #9
                  We suspected a tenant of abandoning a property once and I found letlink.co.uk 's abandonment page very useful for procedures (first link under topics on the left of the homepage) You do need to handle it very carefully to ensure you lawfully regain possession (even though it is fairly obvious she has abandoned the property). You are right to be cautious.

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