When can I assume tenant has left?

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  • When can I assume tenant has left?

    I've been trying to get my tenant out for months ... long story ... but think finally they may have gone. The situation is ...

    Court order in place for them to leave on 30th November, they didn't go so I requested a warrant from bailiff. Still waiting for a date.

    Looks like all the furniture has been removed 24 hours ago but there is a pile of clothes left in view and all the lights have been left on.

    When can I assume they are not coming back and when I can enter and reclaim my property?

    They've also damaged the back door, is there anything I can do about this given that they're hardly likely to leave me a forwarding address as they owe 9 months rent?

    Thank you for any help given.

  • #2
    You may take action to secure the property, but you should wait for the bailiffs to give you possession as the property is still in use by the tenant.


    • #3
      But isn't there something that says I can enter if I believe they have left the property? Also, is there a fire risk with all lights etc having been left on?


      • #4
        Not whilst they still have a valid tenancy.

        With regard to fire risk then I can't see a problem with you entering the property with a witness for the sole purpose of turning off the lights.


        • #5
          Thank you. If lights are still on tomorrow I will try to do that as it seems very odd and it is worrying. Apart from back door I have no idea about the condition of the rest of the house as they have refused all access since about March, including for gas check.

          But valid tenancy ??? Contract officially ended in June and as I said now have possession order from court for end November. Does this really still count as a valid tenancy?


          • #6
            Assuming this is an AST in England/Wales, the fixed term may have ended in June, but after that a statutory periodic tenancy would arise if the tenant remained in occupation (a.k.a. 'rolling contract'), under the same terms as the expired contract (e.g. rent payable...).

            See also, Housing Act 1988, section 5:
            (1) An assured tenancy cannot be brought to an end by the landlord except by—
            (a) obtaining—
            (i) an order of the court for possession of the dwelling-house under section 7 or 21, and
            (ii) the execution of the order,
            (b) ...
            (c) ...
            (1A) Where an order of the court for possession of the dwelling-house is obtained, the tenancy ends when the order is executed.

            *i.e. when the bailiff executes the warrant of possession.


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