Possession order for abandonment

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    #46
    Originally posted by Wright76 View Post
    Sorry just another thought, could be change the locks and notify her to contact us If she needs to be in whilst also applying for a possession order?
    That's what I'd do, except I would just put a notice on the door. Is there someone independent who could witness & film this process plus the state of the property?
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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      #47
      As above.....

      ....but some might consider a notice about abandonment an invitation to squatters/burglars. And I have heard of "someone" removing the notices an hour or so later.....
      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


        #48
        You can post a note through the door advising that you intend to visit in 24 hours to inspect the condition of the property and that if no one is there, you can let yourselves in.

        Then you can make the judgement call.
        You've served notice, at the end of which you have asked the tenant to leave returning the property.
        If you reasonably consider her to have left, that's what you wanted and all is well - in which case change the locks.

        If the place looks lived in, that's not a reasonable conclusion, but you're no worse off.

        As you know she's not really living there, its worth the effort to avoid all the court process.
        But it's not risk free.
        What you have to do is imagine that you are describing what you did and thought to someone else and how reasonable and sensible it all sounds.

        If the tenant is a drug addict, she's no longer in control of her life, and is as likely as not to make some kind of claim at some point.
        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


          #49
          Thank you again for replies. We did post a notice on Wednesday that we would be inspecting today and asked her if she would like to meet us to discuss the best way forward.

          Of course we were ignored!. Had she have played ball and signed off the tenancy or even returned the keys, we were willing to offer her the court fee as the return of her deposit (as per previous thread she paid 400 over a 5 month period). The rent is only 450 a month (at least 100 below market value because we are daft!) and she owes in excess of 1800. We reasoned that we won't see the rent arrears again regardless and would most probably have been penalised for her deposit anyway, so offering deposit back seemed more than fair.

          She was never a model tenant but the drugs were her downfall and I had sympathy for her until she lost care of her child and still made no attempt to change.

          Thank you for the advice in asking how we would see it in court. We've lost all contact, the flat has been empty for months and this has been verified with neighbours. No gas or electricity supply for many months. No rent. Housing benefit and council tax closed. Texts filled with proven lies.

          We also have support of the housing dept.

          I think we will confirm it is empty and take our chances inchanging the locks. If there was ever a case of abandonment or implied surrender then this is surely it!

          Comment


            #50
            Agree totally - good luck.
            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


              #51
              As long as you have irrefutable evidence that the tenant no longer lives at the property I think that going to court and waiting for bailiffs is a waste of time and money, especially if the tenancy is periodic: You can serve a notice to quit and be done with it.

              Depending on the tenancy agreement and circumstances you can also forfeit the tenancy.

              Comment


                #52
                Thank you jjlandlord. Her tenancy expired in January and she is indeed periodic.

                Our solicitor has advised in obtaining possession order but I would think that they would given their expenses!

                It's the fact the tenant is so unpredictable that scares me into thinking she may dispute something down the line. 6 months to claim illegal eviction is a long time to hold our breath, even if we are confident it would be in our favour.

                We decided to wait until tomorrow to inspect as the electricity meter will need a significant deposit before we can even see anything! and I don't want to put electric on it in her favour.

                We will visit tomorrow in daylight as we are both off work and have served notice to they affect.

                I think once I confirm its empty I will rest better wiry the idea of retaking possession. We will see what lies in store tomorrow

                Comment


                  #53
                  Two related threads have been merged.
                  I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Just to update. We gained entry to the flat to find what can only be described as vile!. Both our fridge and the tenants own fridge freezer were left with rotten food and milk obviously from months and months ago and thick mould has set in. The stench was unbelievable and neither will ever be able to be used again. Every single internal door has been punched through with further gaping holes and one door has been removed and disposed of entirely. The back door has had the cat flap kicked off.
                    She had left her bed wardrobe and drawers but the housing department have said we have enough evidence to assume surrender and change the locks.

                    We were hoping to obtain a Money order as part of possession proceedings for her rent arrears and now we have significant damage to add to that. As it seems a possession order is no longer required, can we attempt to claim our losses via county court?

                    It's not that we will ever see that money but we want to protect ourselves if she ever sees fit to claim a penalty for us not using deposit scheme.

                    Are we better waiting and counter claiming our losses which will exceed any penalty or will it look better for us if we obtain ccj in advance?

                    Thank you all for your help. The whole experience has been horrendous and I doubt we will ever house a benefit tenant again because of our experience.

                    Comment


                      #55
                      My old man used to quote a proverb, which went: 'Don't trouble trouble, until trouble troubles you'. Therefore I wouldn't be stirring up tenant, as it may prompt her to try to think of a way out of it.
                      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                      Comment


                        #56
                        Very wise words! Thank you

                        Comment


                          #57
                          The question is whether you have any chance of recovering any money at all.
                          If the tenant is on benefits, the chances are that you won't be able to recover anything.

                          This is one reason many landlords don't rent to people who pay using housing benefit.
                          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


                            #58
                            Your right jpkeates and we are resigned to never seeing that money.

                            I just wondered if it were a better defence to any future deposit penalty claim if we already had a ccj in place.

                            Anyway, to my next question!. She has left her fridge with its mouldy contents and I mean mouldy! Black mould and months old. Gross. I am aware we have to store the pieces of furniture she has left for a time but what on earth do we do with the fridge?!

                            It is not possible to simply clean it. It is absolutely vile and thick of mould. I have looked at the council environment dept website and can find no advice

                            Comment


                              #59
                              I would contact the tenant (who will probably ignore you) confirming you have retaken possession and ask them to make arrangements to collect their belongings as after a fortnight you will dispose of them.
                              Make sure you have lots of photographs and videos - you don't want the tenant demanding their perfectly clean fridge and diamond tiara back.

                              I just wondered if it were a better defence to any future deposit penalty claim if we already had a ccj in place.
                              If you make a claim, the tenant can make a counter claim.
                              If the tenant makes a claim, you can try and counter claim.

                              Best thing to do is to get the place sorted, re rent it and move forwards.
                              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


                                #60
                                The diamond tiara made me giggle! Thank you again for your help.

                                Comment

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