Abandoned property procedure

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    Abandoned property procedure

    On Nov 30th 2016 I gave my tenant the required 2 months notice in line with my management company's instructions, my intention being to put the house up for sale once the tenant had vacated. He didn't pay his Jan '17 rent and when we attempted an inspection on Feb 3rd by which time he should have vacated, and we found he had changed the locks. The curtains were closed and items had been dumped in the garden.
    Now 3 weeks on the situation on site is EXACTLY the same. The company have been unable to make contact with the tenant. In the meantime a gas contractor has been unable to gain access to conduct an annual safety check.
    I've been told I can issue an "abandoned property procedure". Has anyone had experience of this particular specific situation?
    The missing rent is immaterial - I should get his deposit back. But I don't want to fall foul of the law here, and I want to avoid having to fork out for repossession and possible bailiff costs.

    #2
    There is no "abandoned property procedure".
    There are basically two options.

    You go to court and pay the costs, get a possession order and instruct bailiffs who repossess.
    Or you don't do that and run the risk of being sued for an illegal eviction.

    Any procedure you follow is aimed at reducing the risk of the latter, or building a defence should it happen.
    There are processes where you post notices on the property saying you think it's abandoned and to call xxxx if it isn't.
    Or you do that and then change the locks advising the tenant to call xxx to get a copy of the keys is they need them.
    But none of them are "legal" and so it comes down to how you feel about the risk - given your understanding of your specific case.
    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).

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      #3
      Tried social media or the employer & emergency contact name you took when you signed him up?

      How come people can't get in, no keys or have locks been changed?
      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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