Elusive tenant after repairs?

by Readers Question

9:00 AM, 18th April 2019
About 5 months ago

Elusive tenant after repairs?

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Elusive tenant after repairs?

My tenant told me that his father (an electrician) would do a minor repair in the flat he rents. A quote for the job seemed okay so the tenant said he would pay and I could knock it off the rent.

Next month he confirmed work had been done, but cost a bit more and the rental I received was half the usual amount. This repair cost being quite substantial I asked for receipt for the work done and sent an SAE, but have not received a reply nor have I had rent for two months. Phone calls, emails and text messages have been unanswered.

Tenants from other flats have not seen him for quite a while. Do I have the right to investigate by entering into the property as I cannot obtain his consent if he either isn’t cooperating with me or has gone away?

Many thanks

Kate



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:32 AM, 18th April 2019
About 5 months ago

Hi Kate,

You do not have any evidence that the tenant has surrendered possession and in fact the opposite.

I tenant has the 'Right to Quiet Enjoyment' and you cannot just enter their property without permission. This may be a trap for you and you should seek professional assistance.

Please see >> https://www.property118.com/evicting-tenants/

Kate Mellor

11:23 AM, 18th April 2019
About 5 months ago

In a situation such as this you would be wise to issue notice immediately. Whatever the situation with the electrical repair your tenant has clearly stopped paying rent and stopped communicating. Give the required notice period and once expired, if you still have not had contact from the tenant I would send a letter and also either a text or email to the tenant booking in a property inspection giving in excess of the required notice. I would say that if the time was inconvenient to let you know and you would be happy to arrange it for a more convenient date or time. I would then attend the property with keys (assuming the tenant had not contacted you to rearrange), use the video function on your phone to record the visit (take someone with you). Knock or ring the bell, if no answer open the door with the key. Call out to the tenant before you enter, announce who you are and why you’re there. If no one is present carry out your inspection recording your findings. If the tenant is home and says you can’t enter then immediately leave the property. Do not under any circumstances cause or escalate a disturbance. Leave peacefully and apply for a possession order.

If the tenant does appear to have left permanently you need to decide whether to interpret the evidence as an implied surrender or carry on to the bailiff repossession. If you do decide it’s a surrender you must ensure you have solid recorded evidence that supports your genuine belief, or you could open yourself up to a charge of illegal eviction. If the keys have been put through the door this is usually an acceptable sign.

Ian Narbeth

11:27 AM, 18th April 2019
About 5 months ago

Kate
Check your tenancy agreement. It should allow inspections by the landlord after giving notice. Check the notice provisions very carefully. It should be possible to hand deliver a letter on the landlord's headed paper addressed to the tenant and signed by or on behalf of the landlord at the property stating that you require to inspect the property on [such and such a date and time] and inviting the tenant to notify you if that is not convenient and to propose an alternative date and time. Allow the minimum notice period in the tenancy plus a day extra for safety's sake (i.e. give 8 days notice if the tenancy says 7).
If the tenant does not respond you should be OK to enter to carry out the inspection on the date and at the time in your notice.

Rob Crawford

15:15 PM, 18th April 2019
About 5 months ago

You let the tenant take control! You don't mention the extent of the electrical work. Has the electrical work been completed by a qualified electrician (Part P)? Is the property safe (Part P Certs?). You need to inspect the property asap. Serve 24 hours notice of your intent to visit asap, state that if no response is received you will assume that there is no objection to you entering the property. Enter the property and examine the electrical work (you may wish to take an electrician to check the work). Landlords must stay "in control". By all means use a friend relation of the tenant, but not before you have checked his/her details etc. Make sure he/she knows that you are the landlord contracting him/her and to invoice you direct. Only pay when your happy with the work / certification!

Chris Daniel

23:32 PM, 21st April 2019
About 5 months ago

Allowing tenants to arrange or carry out work in my experience, is always risky at best, or at worse, a disaster.
( But I guess you've learned that now. )
The issue Rob makes about 'control' says it all really.
What Next of Kin details do you have, ?
Are you a member of a landlord Association where you can get telephone advice ?


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