Section 8 eviction...tenants have left...locks changed...any rights to re-enter?

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    Section 8 eviction...tenants have left...locks changed...any rights to re-enter?

    Hi,

    I have served a section 8 to my tenants under grounds of rental arrears.

    The section 8 expired on June 5th. I have been unable to make any contacts with the tenants. I issued a warning and visited the property in person. I found the house in an absolute state. Completely filthy, from bottom to top. Fortunately to major damage, but it needs a complete clean.

    The tenants have all left the property. There bedrooms were all pretty much emptied. They gave me no indication they were leaving nor did they return the keys.

    I immediately changed the locks. I am not expecting they will return.

    Do they have any legal rights to return to the property? If they attempted to gain access they would have to break the door down. Would this be seen as a criminal offence?

    I don't think I will persue the rental arrears through court.

    Thanks,
    Nick

    #2
    You are in a situation where you believe the tenants have abandoned the property, and the likelihood is they have done exactly that.

    They could come back, but the chances they do are extremely slim.
    I would put a notice on the door stating that the locks have been changed, and if they require a set, to contact you.

    In the meantime, get it cleaned up, but take plenty of pictures first.

    When did the fixed term end?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      The fixed term hasn't ended. The AST's were due to end on the 30th June 2014, for which I served a section 21. The section 8 expired on 6th June.

      I wasn't expecting them to vacate but when I visited the house was empty. I don't really want to get in contact with them in case it stirs anything up. If they tried to enter the property my immediate reaction would be to call the police as I would consider it breaking and entering.

      Comment


        #4
        They can't "break and enter" into a property they are renting.

        I would do as I suggested, and on the 1st July I would breathe a sigh of relief if I hadn't heard from them.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

        Comment


          #5
          The section 8 notice has ended the lease (from 6th June).

          If they have quit the property - which it appears that they have - you can simply take possession.
          That's what meant to happen.
          You only need a bailiff and a possession order, when the tenant declines to leave as they should after receiving the notice.

          So no, they don't have any right to return to the property.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            The section 8 notice has ended the lease (from 6th June).

            A Sec 8 notice cannot end a lease early.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

            Comment


              #7
              "If they have quit the property"

              This is what I was unsure about. What determines if they have 'quit'. There was no formal notification or handing back of the keys. They have simply up sticks and left without saying a word.

              Comment


                #8
                You're right.

                The notice plus the tenant quitting the property in line with the notice has ended the lease.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                  The notice plus the tenant quitting the property in line with the notice has ended the lease.
                  That's not straightforward.

                  The tenant seems to have left. Is that an offer to surrender?

                  In such scenarios the safe route is to get confirmation from the tenant in writing or to continue until bailiffs carry out eviction. Otherwise there is always a potential risk, even if very small.

                  Comment

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