How much goodwill ?

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  • How much goodwill ?

    Hi all,

    I have a tenant who was meant to move out of my flat a couple of weeks ago when the AST ended. Since I intended to move into the property I served a S21 in due course. The day to hand over the keys came and went and now the tenant is always asking for a couple of days to get his stuff out. I was willing to accomodate this at first since he's been a good tenant but now it seems to be dragging on and I'm not sure what my tenants intentions are. I also get the impression that he is no longer living at the property. Should I just bite the bullet and start possession proceedings ? I've held back so far because I don't want to incur the expense of starting proceedings only to have the tenant hand the keys over the following week.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Eric.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Drifter View Post
    Should I just bite the bullet and start possession proceedings ? I've held back so far because I don't want to incur the expense of starting proceedings only to have the tenant hand the keys over the following week.
    It's nothing to do with goodwill - this has to be a business decision. There is only one reason why you might not want to start proceedings, and that is because it will cost you the £150 court fee to do so... you have to balance this against the likelihood that the guy will move out of his own accord within a short timeframe - only you can answer that. Also, if he's paying rent, consider how urgently and badly you actually need the property back - that could impact on your decision too.

    You need to be more assertive and press him for a deadline date whereupon he will give you the keys back,and make arrangements for this to happen rather than the vague 'in a couple of days'.

    If you do go ahead and issue papers, the court date won't be until several weeks' time (phone your local county court who will tell you what the actual lag time is), and the possession date will be weeks after that.

    Comment


    • #3
      Cheers mate. I've decided to start proceedings tomorrow, tonight was the final straw as he did a no show at the agreed time to hand over the keys. Incidently can I take the court costs out of his deposit that I still hold ?

      Cheers,

      Eric.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Drifter View Post
        Cheers mate. I've decided to start proceedings tomorrow, tonight was the final straw as he did a no show at the agreed time to hand over the keys. Incidently can I take the court costs out of his deposit that I still hold ?

        Cheers,

        Eric.
        I'd be interested in the answer to that question too Drifter! I have a court date for March 15th but my tenant has been saying for the last couple of weeks that he'll hand the keys over. To date that hasn't happened but I wouldn't be surprised if he decided to hand the keys over the day before the hearing! If this happens it is my intention to retain the court fees from his deposit (£150). I believe this is acceptable but clarification would be good!

        Many thanks in advance to any members responding.

        Kind Regards

        J

        Comment


        • #5
          Well the tenant could always try taking you to court for the return of the £150 fees if you DO withhold them...

          Comment


          • #6
            As long as you have documented proof of his stalling..... I'd hold onto the court costs.

            Don't accept anything verbally, your acceptable contact hours should be the same as any solicitor. He can't expect you to take back the keys at 2 am on Saturday for example.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Surrey View Post
              Well the tenant could always try taking you to court for the return of the £150 fees if you DO withhold them...
              I don't know the answer to the question (but I suspect you wouldn't be allowed to charge him) however I would suggest the way forward might well be to talk to the tenant, point out that he's let you down on several occasions already with regards to moving out, which leaves you with no alternative but to apply to the courts, of which the £150 fees will have to be deducted from his deposit. Tell him you'll be doing this on 7 March (or whatever) (and then do it) unless he gives you possession beforehand. I suspoct that might just do the trick?!

              Comment


              • #8
                Well I'm now left cursing my generosity. I now can't get hold of the tenant as he doesn't return my voicemails/texts etc - I also get the impression that he no longer lives at the property and so I'm perplexed as to why he won't hand over the keys especially considering that I still hold his deposit. Ah well, I'll put this one down to experience and learn from it.

                Cheers,

                Eric.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Drifter - be careful. If the tenant has not handed the keys over then the tenant has not necessarily relinquished possession. You might want to read up on abandonment! If you were to change the locks etc you could end up being accused of illegal eviction!!!

                  Kind Regards

                  J

                  PS. Try this link on abondonment

                  http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/legal/abandonment.htm
                  Last edited by Joannepowell; 06-03-2007, 13:53 PM. Reason: addition of link

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Joanne,

                    Yes I initially thought about that and my estate agent suggested writing a letter to him and if he didn't respond to just go in and change the locks. Having done some background reading I thought it best (i.e. legal) to wait until I get the possession order as for all I know he could be waiting for me to perform an illegal eviction so that he can sue me.

                    Cheers,

                    Eric.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's amazing how many people are not clued up about illegal eviction! I recently had police officers tell me to change the locks on a property I have with a problem tenant! The officers didn't know a thing about illegal eviction! Needless to say I did not follow the officers advice and have a possession hearing date for next week. If I'd taken their advice chances are it would have been me appearing in court as the defendant!!!

                      Good luck with your case Drifter.

                      Kind Regards

                      J

                      Comment

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