Flat used for forced prostitution by trafficked girl

by Readers Question

8:27 AM, 4th April 2018
About 7 months ago

Flat used for forced prostitution by trafficked girl

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Flat used for forced prostitution by trafficked girl

The tenant moved in November and has paid rent due in accordance with the AST. I had tried to meet the new tenant at the flat on a couple of occasions after he moved in, but numerous excuses meant this did not happen e.g. he was traveling or meeting relatives away etc.

Last week the police raided the apartment and found a trafficked girl who had been forced into prostitution. The police had to break down the front door so consequently this will have to be replaced including new lock.

The tenant did not leave any of his possessions in the flat with the exception of bedroom furniture used by the trafficked girl. Up until now it has not been possible to contact the tenant and police investigations are ongoing.

My question is what is the best and most expedient way of repossessing the flat and terminating the AST so I can rent to new tenants?

Many thanks

Paul



Comments

Neil Patterson

8:34 AM, 4th April 2018
About 7 months ago

Hi Paul,

What a horrible situation to learn happened.

You do not mention if the tenancy is still in the fixed term or if the rent has been paid and for how long and we are assuming the flat is abandoned but we don't know for sure (hopefully it is).

As you are dealing with a criminal I would personally deal with this at arms length if possible and let professional tenant eviction specialist advise you and or carry out any work required. Please see >> https://www.property118.com/evicting-tenants/

Mark Alexander

10:03 AM, 4th April 2018
About 7 months ago

May I ask, what referencing checks did you do on this individual?

Do you have a copy passport and NI number for example? If so, have these been passed on to the Police? If the Police confirm they were fakes then the chances of the criminal ever demanding access to the property are slim to nil. Many landlords in this position would simply clean up the property, change the locks and re-let. If the tenant turns up claiming illegal eviction just mention that the Police have been in touch and are looking for him. That will probably be the last you will ever hear from him.

This is NOT advice.

Neil's comments point to the correct way to deal with such situations. However, sometimes a pragmatic approach is required.

Russell Thomas

10:08 AM, 4th April 2018
About 7 months ago

This happened in one of our properties, though the girls were not trafficked. I took the pragmatic view, did the tenant want to be prosecuted by the police for running a brothel- so I couldn't see them for dust. It is easier to set up again elsewhere rather than go through the courts and risk a fine or imprisonment.
In your case the consequences are more serious for the tenant. I would take back the property and phone the police if he reappears I am sure they would like to speak to him.

Mark Alexander

10:13 AM, 4th April 2018
About 7 months ago

Two possible scenario's associated with the "pragmatic approach"

SCENARIO ONE

Text from criminal: I can't get into my flat

Landlord: oh, sorry about that I've been trying to call you, we had a break in and had to change the locks. Can you meet me there in two hours and I will bring you a new key?

Criminal: Oh, yeah, OK

Landlords calls Police and tells them when and where to meet the pimp. Obviously landlord doesn't turn up.

SCENARIO TWO

Criminal calls/texts/emails landlord and says; I've just tried to get into my property and somebody else is living there?

Landlord replies: What? Leave it with me, I can be there in two hours with the Police. Can you meet me at the property in two hours?

If criminal agrees, landlord calls the Police as per scenario one.

SIMPLE!

Luke P

11:17 AM, 4th April 2018
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 04/04/2018 - 08:34
If the tenancy bagan in November, it’ll still be inside the fixed term. Good news is, the OP is beyond the four month-mark to be able to serve s.21. I imagine this will be completely uncontested and not responded to. Get County Court Possession Order CIA Accelerated Possession and convert tin high Court Writ getting HCEOs to officially repossess property and issue you with a certificate.

moneymanager

11:22 AM, 4th April 2018
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 04/04/2018 - 10:13
The only problem with that is whether the police will actually turn up?

Mark Alexander

11:37 AM, 4th April 2018
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 04/04/2018 - 11:22
Why wouldn't they?

Peter Poupard

12:36 PM, 4th April 2018
About 7 months ago

Perhaps members more learned than I can confirm but my understanding is one cannot have a contract for illegal or immoral purposes, ( perhaps the immoral bit no longer applies given society's lack of morals these days ) so therefore the illegal nature of living off immoral earnings, prostitution, will have nullified any AST. Therefore one more reason to go in now and put in a new tenant. I agree your previous referencing needs looking at and asking those who carried out the checks to pay for your losses associated to this sad story.

Luke P

12:55 PM, 4th April 2018
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Peter Poupard at 04/04/2018 - 12:36
Even if you could use that, s.21 ‘normal’ procedure would be quickest.

Larry Sweeney

21:22 PM, 4th April 2018
About 7 months ago

This is getting beyond a joke. Forget sect 21 section 8 and every other section. He procured a tenancy by fraudelent representation. Take your property back forthwith and worry about your former tenant if he reappears. Personally I think you have a better chance of winning the lottery than him reappearing.

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