N5B served, tenant abandoned?

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    N5B served, tenant abandoned?

    Hi All,

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I am hoping someone here can help me as my LA's are less than useful at the moment, as following on from there many mistakes I did not want to pay them £500 to serve notice and dealt with it myself (using this site for advice!)
    My current situation is that tenant has been served the papers N5B from the court and we are waiting to hear if she is going to ask for a hearing. (If they have been served can I assume I have filled them in correctly?)
    She has told the HB that she no longer lives at the address, and has been seen packing up her car. Her mother has also confirmed to the letting agent that she thinks her daughter has left the property and she has seen her in the car with all her personal belongings. Large items of furniture are left at the house (as confirmed by LA inspection). Neighbours have not seen her since the day she packed her car.
    The situation is further complicated by the fact that both social services and the police are looking for her (separate issues). This re-enforces my belief that she will not now return to the property and is just using it as storage for her furniture .
    So my questions are
    1) If she doesn’t appeal, when I take the slip into court after two weeks, is there an opportunity to put a statement with it requesting immediate possession rather than the standard 14 days?
    2) Do I need the bailiffs if she is not in residence at the property?

    Thanks in anticipation

    #2
    Originally posted by Jodie1977 View Post
    1) If she doesn’t appeal, when I take the slip into court after two weeks, is there an opportunity to put a statement with it requesting immediate possession rather than the standard 14 days?

    No, a judge is obliged to give 14 days notice of possession.

    2) Do I need the bailiffs if she is not in residence at the property?
    2) Yes, it is best to allow the bailiff to enter and be sure of legal possession.

    Welcome to the forum Jodie1977.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      In legal terms, as jta says, the tenancy does not end until the bailiffs enforce the possession order (or the tenant surrenders the tenancy).

      You could look at the tenants actions and decide that all her actions indicate that she has surrendered the property. That's fine so long as no one disputes your opinion. However, if the tenant were to claim that you have illegally evicted her, then that would be a lot of hassle and probably expense even if you could defend such a claim (which you probably could). If you failed to defend that could be a criminal record &/or lots of damages - unlikely but possible.

      Comment


        #4
        Ask her (enlist the Mother to help?) to surrender the property?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by boletus View Post
          Ask her (enlist the Mother to help?) to surrender the property?
          thanks for the responses all. Sadly there is no reasoning with the delightful lady, and she has gone completely incommunicado. She said she would move out if we gave her £450 which we agreed to on the condition that she left the property clean and tidy. she wanted cash before handing over the property she does indeed have a malicious streak and when we refused cash in advance she said she was going to cost us as much as she possibly could.

          I thought it might be the case about the bailiffs. I think I would rather wait the few weeks it takes to do it properly than risk any possibility of giving her the satisfaction of taking us to court.
          One more question though, she has refused us access and contact so we have been unable to arrange the annual gas safety certificate which is now overdue. where do we stand on that?

          Comment


            #6
            You need to keep a paper trail of all your attempts to conduct the GSC, iirc at least 3 attempts must be made.

            Comment


              #7
              Forget the Gas cert.
              If she brings it up because she moves back, get one done.

              Deny all knowledge of property left in the house.
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

              Comment


                #8
                Hi all, just a quick update wondering if it would change the way I should proceed. The tenant has been with a van today and completely emptied the house of all the furniture (unfurnished so not a problem although she may well have also taken the oven and carpet as she said she would)
                She has taken everything down to the light shades.
                When my neighbour asked if she was going she said "ooh no I will be here for ages yet until I can save a bond". Said neighbour then questioned how she could live in a completely empty house, "oh i am just putting some stuff in storage for a while"
                Now I can only assume she is either saying that to save face with the neighbours or to be spiteful and make the house unavailable to us for as long as possible. It really grates to be unable to get started on making it rentable again when I know it is completely empty. I also feel the need to check she has not left a tap on or anything since she now has all her possessions.

                What do you wise folk think?

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think that the tenants comments to the neighbour are laying the foundations for an illegal eviction claim. Tread with care and do everything by the book.

                  With regard to entry, if you must, then do so with a witness (preferably a Police Officer, Vicar or other impeachable witness). Go in, check what you need to check, and get out ASAP.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Jodie1977 View Post
                    Hi all, just a quick update wondering if it would change the way I should proceed. The tenant has been with a van today and completely emptied the house of all the furniture (unfurnished so not a problem although she may well have also taken the oven and carpet as she said she would)
                    She has taken everything down to the light shades.
                    When my neighbour asked if she was going she said "ooh no I will be here for ages yet until I can save a bond". Said neighbour then questioned how she could live in a completely empty house, "oh i am just putting some stuff in storage for a while"
                    Now I can only assume she is either saying that to save face with the neighbours or to be spiteful and make the house unavailable to us for as long as possible. It really grates to be unable to get started on making it rentable again when I know it is completely empty. I also feel the need to check she has not left a tap on or anything since she now has all her possessions.

                    What do you wise folk think?
                    I've not got any advice but offer sympathy as I'm going through exactly the same thing. House has been unlived in for over a year but much as I'm tempted to just go in and change the locks and proceed to sell the property I'm going to do things the proper way.

                    Good luck.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jackie1960 View Post
                      I've not got any advice but offer sympathy as I'm going through exactly the same thing. House has been unlived in for over a year but much as I'm tempted to just go in and change the locks and proceed to sell the property I'm going to do things the proper way.

                      Good luck.
                      Why has it taken over a year?(Just out of interest!)
                      '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


                        #12
                        Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                        Forget the Gas cert.
                        If she brings it up because she moves back, get one done.

                        Deny all knowledge of property left in the house.
                        No. Don't forget the CP12. Do as Snorkerz suggests and make 3 attempts in writing (with proof of postage) to arrange access for the gas engineer.

                        I am not sure why OP would need or want to 'deny all knowledge of property left inside the house'. Perhaps you could explain.
                        '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


                          #13
                          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                          Why has it taken over a year?(Just out of interest!)
                          For some reason he carried on paying his rent. Probably worked out that the rent is lower than paying for a storage depot. He's got so much stuff it's unbelievable. I hadn't realised he no longer lived there as my husband is the landlord and much like the tenant lives in cloud cuckooland half the time. It was only a few months ago that tenant decided he didn't like paying rent for the "storage depot" and stopped. I also didn't realise he had stopped paying rent as husband again had put funds into the current account to make up the shortfall and much to my shame I didn't check the bank statements.

                          Anyway as soon as I got wind of all this (thanks to neighbours who I just happened to bump into in town) I was soon on the case. Tenant had cleared most of his stuff and all that is left is mouldy food, piles of cat poo (installed cat flap without my knowledge and all the neighbour moggies used it) and a mountain of unopened mail. Yuck.

                          I'm going down the legal route much as I'm tempted to change the locks and call in "Grimefighters".

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Oh the saga continues. We had a call from the police on sat pm as the alarm was going off for hours and the windows etc were wide open. We went and secured the property. She has been back again today and smashed the plaster off the walls in the hallway and then left, leaving the door open. It is not a yale lock, it is one you have to manually lock.
                            We have also had written confirmation from the council that the property is unoccupied and unfurnished from a council tax point of view. HB were told weeks ago that she had moved out (both declarations made by the tenant). I cannot bear the thought of just leaving the property as it is and believe I have a duty of care to secure the property.
                            However neither the council nor the police will attend with me to witness that the door is unlocked and needs securing. Don’t know who else to ask who would be seen as impartial.
                            I am going to put the abandonment notice up, but do I have to let her back in or can I just give her anything that she asks for still in the property (not that there is anything, but in theory).
                            EDIT: I have just spoken with the local councillor for our area. He is going to meet us there as an independent witness to us securing the property.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Would all of the above be classed as implied surrender?

                              Comment

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