Tenant not handing back keys

Tenant not handing back keys

21:36 PM, 18th March 2015, About 7 years ago 38

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Tenant not handing back keysI have a tenant who text me on 17th March to say she would be moving out by the weekend as she couldn’t afford the rent any more.

I told her she had to give one months notice.

She said she didn’t have any money.

I said I could take it out of the deposit.

One week later I met her at the property, she had left a broken bed and some black bags in numerous rooms, other furniture had gone.

I told her she had to remove all her stuff before ending tenancy, which ended yesterday.

She text me to say she would meet me at the property at 7pm, but didn’t turn up. She is not answering her phone or texts.

I have posted letter to give 24 hours of my intention to gain access.

What do I do next? She still has the keys.

Can I gain access tomorrow and change the locks?

Any advice welcome please. 




by brian clement

1:14 AM, 20th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Your tenant sounds ok. She couldn't afford the rent so moved out. Think yourself lucky that she didn't say "I know my rights see you in court". Go to see her and ask for keys. Get her to sign something saying she has moved out. Don't be nasty to her and say you will dump her rubbish. If you don't threaten her she wont fight you back. Get another tenant in and don't worry

by Christine Turner

8:27 AM, 20th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Thank you, yes I have resigned myself to the fact that I will not be able to recover the money I have lost because of her. Just wondered, what is the worst that can happen, if she takes me to court can I then counter claim for the lost rent, damages etc. Also can I take her belongings that she has left, mainly bags of clothes and put them on her doorstep if she doesn't collect them?

by Mark Alexander

8:47 AM, 20th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Christine Turner" at "20/03/2015 - 08:27":

Hi Christine

Anyone convicted of harassment or illegal eviction could face a prison sentence of up to two years and/or an unlimited fine. - source >>> http://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/200239/private_housing/388/harassment_and_illegal_eviction

Sorry, but you did ask.

This is why it is so important to get a tenancy surrender agreement signed before things get out of control.

It is all very well knowing that you are in the right and holding tenants to paying every last penny they owe you, HOWEVER, as we have seen here, if somebody has nothing to lose they can so easily turn the situation around on you by leaving without giving proper notice and handing back keys.

Sometimes you need to take a commercial view and cut your losses early on by offering an easy way out when tenants first admit to having a problem. This often costs a lot less in the long run.

Moving forwards from this experience, prevention is obviously better than cure. In future, don't rent to people unless you are able to purchase rent guarantee insurance. If tenants don't qualify then tell them to find a guarantor. If they can't, find another tenant. You may experience a void period whilst doing so but in my opinion it's worth taking that small hit to cashflow up front than the hassle you could potentially be facing now. In short, plan for the worst and hope for the best and you will not find yourself in such stressful situations. You are not alone, most landlords go through something like this at some point and they either sell up feeling bitter about BTL or they move on with the benefit of the experience. I know, I've been in exactly the same position as you.

The letting agents I work with now protect me from these issues, they only cost me 4% of rent (min £24.99 pcm) plus £10 pcm per tenant for Rent Guarantee Insurance - see >>> http://www.property118.com/letting-supermarket-amend-pricing/68829/

by Christine Turner

15:58 PM, 20th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "20/03/2015 - 08:47":

Oh, another sleepless night then. I have told her if she just moves her stuff and hands back keys we will say no more. Locks were changed today, drains overflowing out the back with stench of sewage. I will think about RGI insurance, but its not the money so much I am worried about, my portfolio turns a healthy profit, and most tenants have been with me for many years and are like family. My properties are in South Wales, and letting supermarket is for England only I think. I wish they were in my area. I didn't evict her and throw her on the street, she told me she had moved out a month ago and was living in a new property, but I guess that doesn't make a difference. Thank you for your help and advice, it is much appreciated.

by Mark Alexander

16:03 PM, 20th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Christine Turner" at "20/03/2015 - 15:58":

Letting Supermarket.com also cover South Wales now 🙂

by Mark Alexander

16:04 PM, 20th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Christine Turner" at "20/03/2015 - 15:58":

PS, remember to get the Tenancy Surrender Agreement signed.

by Christine Turner

20:47 PM, 20th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "20/03/2015 - 16:03":

wow, just checked them out, that's amazing. Iv given the property back to my letting agent now who is advertising it. He charges £350 plus vat for finding a tenant, referencing etc and 10% plus vat to manage, but I manage them myself at present and just use him for tenant finding. Will definitely use them next time, no brainer really Thanks again

by Mark Alexander

21:03 PM, 20th March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Christine Turner" at "20/03/2015 - 20:47":


Have a read of this thread >>> http://www.property118.com/60-viewing-requests-19-viewings-today-record/72854/ especially the comments from that Property118 member who is was complaining about LettingSupermarket.com!

by Christine Turner

9:20 AM, 21st March 2015, About 7 years ago

Just a thought, I have since found out that she has done this to every house she has rented. She passed all checks by my Letting Agent, and they are a reputable letting agent, and apparently she has managed to rent a new property just up the road. Why is she passing all these credit checks?, could it be that no landlord has taken her to court yet for the damage she has caused to properties, missed rent etc. It is going to cost me around £2500 to get the property ready for another tenant. Also found out the electrics are not working in half of the house. Something is very wrong somewhere where she can be allowed to get away with this

by Mark Alexander

9:41 AM, 21st March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Christine Turner" at "21/03/2015 - 09:20":

Are you going to make a claim via the Small Claims Court?

Perhaps your agent has been negligent?

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