Tenant dissappeared , agency witholds deposit

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    Tenant dissappeared , agency witholds deposit

    Hi! My tenant moved out, I think couple days ago, after I sent him section 21. He didn't turned up today to hand over keys, in fact, door were unlocked and one windows wide opened. I've tried to contacted him, but he doesn't pick up my calls. He caused quite the damage to my flat, mostly electrics. I want to keep deposit. I had introduction only agreement with agency and I had my deposit protected. Now agency tells me I can't have deposit until 90 days. What can I do?

    #2
    No you just can't have the deposit just like that and he still has a live tenancy unless he has surrendered it so proceed with caution. You have to prove he did the damage. Was there an inventory?

    Go and photograph the damage in detail and get estimates for the repairs. Still keep trying to contact the tenant but if that fails you can then write to the deposit holder (never let agents protect deposits - it always put another heavy object in the way) giving the situation and they will try to contact the tenant and resolve the matter - it won't happen by next week.

    Your best bet is to try Facebook/Twitter or whatever to contact the tenant, formally end the tenancy and deal with the deposit.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

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      #3
      Thanks for reply. I've already been at flat, taken pictures. I went there with someone as witness. I don't think I'll see tenant again, as he knows he caused damage, owes me rent money. Fireplace and one movable heater have gone missing too, I still have receipts for those. Is 90 days term correct?

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        #4
        Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
        ......Your best bet is to try Facebook/Twitter or whatever to contact the tenant, formally end the tenancy and deal with the deposit.
        You need, as Interlaken says, to formally end the tenancy: e.g. with a "Deed of Surrender". Otherwise he is still entitled to live there & sue you for illegal eviction (unlikely but..). Just tell tenant it needs signing to end his liability for rent, after he returns keys. (Then change locks anyway).

        re
        . Is 90 days term correct?
        What 90 day term??
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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          #5
          The tenancy continues until the earlier of:
          1) Tenant surrenders their tenancy
          2) You obtain and enforce a possession order

          It may possibly be implied from the tenants actions that they have surrendered the tenancy, BUT, no one knows for sure until the tenant turns up, claiming their tenancy is still ongoing and you end up in court desperately hoping that the judge agrees with you.

          So far as the deposit is concerned, all the deposit companies have websites, read the 'landlords' section to see how you go about getting the deposit back if the tenant will not contact you or disputes your claims.

          Do you know if your agent gave your tenant details of the terms and conditions of the protection scheme, together with the proper details of how they get their deposit back? It is called 'prescribed information'.

          Comment


            #6
            If the tenant's actions are an offer to surrender, the landlord can accept that offer.

            What makes the OP think that the tenant hasn't simply gone away for a few days?
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              If the tenant's actions are an offer to surrender, the landlord can accept that offer.

              What makes the OP think that the tenant hasn't simply gone away for a few days?
              Because all his possessions are gone from flat ( and some of mine's too). Because he said to neighbour he's moving out and doesn't want to see me. I've called him numerous times , sent messages and had no answer. I've already tried social websites, no joy. I'm under impression he's hiding, not only from me.

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                #8
                Hope you've reported the theft of your property to Police & got CRN: As probably required by your insurers....

                Sounds like a surrender but....
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  That sounds like reasonable evidence to support a belief that the tenant has abandoned the property.

                  If you reasonably believe that a tenant has abandoned the property that would be a good defence to any illegal eviction claim in my view.
                  Asking neighbours is good support for that view.

                  I'd repossess and claim against the deposit.
                  Report the theft and get a crime number (no one will do anything about it, but it will be useful if there's a problem down the line).
                  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


                    #10
                    Secure the property immediately by changing all entry door locks and securing all windows. Leave note on entry doors stating "Locks have been changed to secure the property, and the legitimate T will be given new keys when he contacts LL on <contact No> within 14/21 days from date of Notice, otherwise it will be assumed T has surrendered the T." Take photo of affixed Notice and keep copy of Notice.
                    The fear for any LL is being set up for claim of 'illegal eviction'.
                    I had a similar T who vacated without Notice and left back door unlocked. The gch boiler was taken same w/e and the copper piping stripped out a few days later.
                    Ask deposit scheme how long before you can make a 'single' claim? Prob 3-4 wks.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you for all replies. Mariner, that's very good idea. I've already changed locks, but I'll leave note too.
                      My question is about deposit. I had introduction only agreement with agency, they've got deposit, protected. Now they're saying , as tenant didn't formally surrender tenancy, I have to wait at least 90 day before they can give me deposit. Is that correct? What should I do now?

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                        #12
                        Duh! Groundhog Day - we've already told you! End the tenancy and YES you have to wait. You let them protect the deposit........... so you have to go with the rules of their scheme - ask which it is.

                        NOTE - the Landlord (that is you Turefu, is responsible for the deposit at all times - the law says so - take more interest next time and don't let the agent protect the deposit - find out about it yourself.)



                        Freedom at the point of zero............

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Tenant dissappeared , agency witholds deposit

                          I posted a thread while ago, my tenant left without surrendering tenancy and I had no contact with him since. In the meantime I redecorated flat and found new tenants. 90 days term came to the end and I asked agency can I have deposit. They told me to go to small claims court. Against who? What can I do now?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sounds like you've taken a big risk by reletting a property that already has an tenancy in operation.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The scheme the deposit is protected with should have procedure to allow you to get the deposit.

                              Comment

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