Advice please - tenants have done a runner

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    Advice please - tenants have done a runner

    I have discovered today that my tenants have done a runner. They have only been in the property 5 months - signed a 12 month contract.

    Have left loads of rubbish outside property - will fill a small skip. Haven't returned keys and lock on door has been changed as they key I have for it no longer works. I believe they have moved to London.

    Has anyone got any advice as to what I can do?

    They have ignored all attempts to contact them, though I know they are receiving texts.

    The letting agent advised me that a neighbour had contacted them to say property had loads of debris outside.

    Issues:

    In breach of contract
    Left without giving notice
    Need to replace lock
    Need to remove all debris
    I can see through the letter box that brand new kitchen carpet is ruined
    I would guess that they haven't paid electric bill or Sky

    Any advice on how I can recover costs would be appreciated please.

    Thanks in advance

    #2
    How long have you been a LL?
    This situation is Renting 101, none the less a shock.
    Give Ts min 24 hr written Notice of intended inspection & undertake. Serve Notice at property address & take Ind Witness.
    Please complete & paste http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ll-new-posters

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by mariner View Post
      Give Ts min 24 hr written Notice of intended inspection & undertake. Serve Notice at property address & take Ind Witness.
      mariner, are you suggesting they actually break in to inspect, or what? (Ts have changed locks).
      '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


        #4
        Hopefully they've not changed all the locks - people rarely change the back door locks.
        Or while standing outside trying the lock some kind of emergency might manifest itself.

        Otherwise its a s8 which you hope will be uncontested.
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by mariner View Post
          How long have you been a LL?
          This situation is Renting 101, none the less a shock.
          Give Ts min 24 hr written Notice of intended inspection & undertake. Serve Notice at property address & take Ind Witness.
          Please complete & paste http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ll-new-posters
          Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)?

          England

          Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only?

          It is a couple

          Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy?

          29/01/2016

          Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)?

          12 months

          Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)?

          Calendar month on 29th of each month

          Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)?

          There was a deposit taken - which is the normal deposit held - paid on 29/01/16

          Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy).

          Nothing served

          Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant?

          No I don't

          I have been a landlord for 6 years - these are my 5th lot of tenants - mostly young people getting away from parents - didn't have any major problems with first 4 tenants - 5th trashed the place but this was rectified by the tenant's father rather than her face having a CCJ against her.

          As the rent isn't due until 29th am I still legally able to request access?

          Comment


            #6
            You can request access at any time (giving reasonable notice - 24 hours plus) to inspect the condition of the property.
            You can advise the tenant that if they're not there, not to worry you'll let yourself in.

            If the tenant doesn't decline, you can the go and enter.
            Take a witness and should hello a lot, so you're absolutely sure no one's there.

            The locks are an issue, because it's fairly easy to interpret a locked door as refusing access, so, if there's a back door accessible, try that first.
            You'd have to be very sure they've permanently abandoned to break in / get a locksmith to give you access.
            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
              Thanks for this help - much appreciated.

              There isn't a back door - it is a teeny townhouse 4 in a row, back to back.

              From looking through the letter box there is only a sofa left in house - the kitchen is bare apart from fitted cupboards.

              There is a load of debris outside the property - enough to fill a small skip.

              As they have left the property - the only information I have is where the one tenant's parents live (about 5 minutes away).

              Not going through this again :-(

              Comment


                #8
                This is just something that happens sometimes.
                It's often because people prefer to run away than address a problem and don't realise the consequences of their actions for others.

                You're essentially balancing the need to repossess your property with the risk that you do so and the tenants reappear and want it back (or compensation from you against a threat of illegal eviction).
                It's a well established legal hole and there isn't one right answer.

                You can essentially do nothing.
                The tenants continue to owe you rent and you can make efforts to recover it from them.

                The safest thing to do is to wit until they owe two month's rent - one day after the second rent due date from now - and serve a s8 notice on that ground (using the property address).
                They won't see it and won't contest it, so you'll be granted possession a few weeks later.

                There are actions in the middle, talk to the parents of the tenant - because they probably don't realise there's a risk of running up a huge debt (7 further months debt plus legal costs) and may be encouraged to agree a formal surrender.

                While visiting the flat you might smell gas / hear a trapped animal / think there's a fire / find someone's attempted to break in - that's not good advice, but it's happened.

                There isn't really a right answer to achieve what you want that isn't the section 8 route, but that's slow and costs money.

                On a practical note, check if you have to advise your insurer/mortgage lender if the property is unoccupied for a period.
                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
                  You cannot serve s8 during fixed term unless permitted in AST.
                  Only T, not parents can sign valid surrender. They provide a current address for T (for future ref) or forward the Surrender Deed.
                  Sign and provide 2 identical Deeds, request .T to sign & date both and return 1 copy to legally end their T on that date.

                  Comment

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