Tenants paying rent, but we found out property is empty!

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    Tenants paying rent, but we found out property is empty!

    Hello

    We are renting out a property via a letting an agent, who we are paying to manage the property. The tenants were due to move in May and rent payment has been going into our account since then. This is paid via the letting agents, minus their fee.

    We went into the property today to inspect a leak and it appears noone has been living there.

    We have never met or spoken to the tenants.

    What could this mean? Im really confused/suspicious

    Thank you!

    #2
    Have you checked every room, including the loft?

    Comment


      #3
      No clothes, furniture, televisions, no food in cupboards or the fridge/freezer?

      How did you find out about the leak?

      Comment


        #4
        Is it in the catchment area for a good school?

        Write and give notice that you wish to visit and check the condition of the property.
        Give about three days notice and suggest that there's no need for the tenants to be there, you can let yourselves in.

        How did you find out about the leak?
        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
          There is no food, rubbish bin, 'lived in smell', clothes. We checked every room, its very small.

          The downstairs neighbour reported the leak, it was very minor and doesnt seem to be related to water usage.

          Comment


            #6
            No I dont think so... Not worth the rent payments anyway.

            If it means anything, we were told the tenants were a Spanish family with a small child.

            Comment


              #7
              When did the tenancy start?
              Did your agent do any "right to rent" checks?

              Does your landlord insurance or BTL terms require anything to be done if the property is to be empty for a time?
              Does your tenancy agreement say anything about being absent for a period?

              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              Write and give notice that you wish to visit and check the condition of the property.
              Give about three days notice and suggest that there's no need for the tenants to be there, you can let yourselves in.
              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


                #8
                Tenancy started in May 2016.
                The agent did background checks, not sure about 'right to rent'.

                The landlord insurance covers missed payment, not empty property. The rent is still being paid..
                I will check the tenancy agreement.

                I guess worse case scenario is they have done a runner and then we'll use thier deposit? The letting agent are holding the deposit.

                Comment


                  #9
                  In your shoes I'd inform Police (missing persons, possible fraud), local education authorities (possible fraud to get school place) & HB/LHA dept (if claiming - you'd not necessarily know) and Spanish embassy (concern over safety...).

                  Someone is on the fiddle somehow, mark my words...
                  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


                    #10
                    Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                    Someone is on the fiddle somehow, mark my words...
                    Yeah. I can't quite figure out how though - maybe the school thing as jpkeates suggests. Think artful's suggestions are good. It would be wise to also call your insurance to make sure that the property standing empty may not have invalidated your buildings insurance.

                    Do the agents know if anyone ever actually moved in, have they ever seen anyone at the property? Does the property 'seem' like it may have been inhabited for even a bit, ie any wear and tear that wasn't there before, any dirt that isn't just dust settling etc?

                    Very weird one!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      And tell agent to give you copies of ALL paperwork:
                      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


                        #12
                        I know that the tenants (via the letting agent) reported a blocked sink in June, they also complained about the hoover when they moved in. But that didnt come up again.

                        It could be that they have run off, and left the place spotless. I guess in that case we could claim the deposit to cover this month's rent?

                        I will check the insurance, thanks for that suggestion. Though possible not needed yet.

                        Agents are looking into it. I will let you guys know! Thank you!

                        Suggestions still welcome if you have any!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          When exactly in May did the tenancy start and was it for 6 months? When was the last rent due date and did they pay it?

                          It's possible they've simply left before the end of the fixed term, a few weeks earlier than one would expect.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            utilities meters

                            Hello alfierose

                            One way to check if someone been living there at all

                            Ask the letting agent, do they have the gas electric meter readings for when the tenants 1st moved in and compare them with the latest readings...
                            Thunderbirds are go

                            Comment


                              #15
                              And check whether your property is listed on Airbnb

                              Comment

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