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. 

Thanks

Christine



Comments

by Mark Alexander

17:10 PM, 23rd March 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Christine Turner" at "23/03/2015 - 14:58":

Great news, well done! 🙂
.

by Freda Blogs

9:41 AM, 12th April 2015, About 7 years ago

Glad you've got a reasonable outcome Christine.

Please report the tenant on the Landlord Referencing website - she's exactly the sort of repeat offender that keeps getting new tenancies. If you put her on Landlord Referencing future landlords will be alerted and can steer clear.

by Andy

11:57 AM, 11th July 2015, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "18/03/2015 - 21:53":

Hi guys,
Just a quick one.. The above is basically my situation I have now, tenant within fixed term still holding onto the key and has left some belongings.

Once the rent falls into arrears (in 2 weeks) can I serve a section 8 notice to seek possession using 'ground 10' only? It indicates that I can use ground 10 once there is arrears on the property...

Info from a landlord site shows
You must serve notice seeking possession of the property on the tenant before starting court proceedings. You need to give the following periods of notice :
Grounds 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 or 17 – at least 2 weeks

Grounds 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 16 – at least 2 months

So if I seek under ground 10, should I serve this as soon as it falls into arrears, then start court proceedings 2 weeks following this?

Thanks

by Mandy Thomson

20:05 PM, 26th September 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 18/03/2015 - 21:53
I believe if Christine leaves an abandonment notice in the property, sends copies to all virtual and real world alternate addresses she has for the tenant, giving the tenant at least a month (in total) to reclaim the property and/or her belongings, after which time she changes the locks and repossesses the property, she is at very low risk of prosecution (the abandonment bill which is currently going through Parliament sets out a very similar procedure). She can then dispose of any belongings of no value, but if any are sold the tenant is entitled to proceeds of sale unless it's been formally agreed otherwise. She would also be wise to take an inventory with photos and a witness before she removes anything or makes any other changes.

by Hamish McBloggs

13:30 PM, 27th September 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 21/03/2015 - 09:41Mark,
We have had similar.
We have used the small claims court but found this to be a waste of time, money and effort when it is us that needs to do all the running, pay the court costs (to be reclaimed) and then win. Magistrates simply raise their eyes skywards and shake their heads.
A pyrrhic victory and only the first step in what will inevitably be a fruitless task when the ex-tenant has no money. Or if they do we have to make the effort to prove it.
The only reason we spend a little time and money is simply to ensure that something 'attaches itself' to the individual as an attempt to warn others when they carry out their due diligence. Though this does not help if the tenant is adroit at changing names.
A question, I take the point that someone can have more than one tenancy, notices need to be correctly served etc, But if a tenant simply 'goes dark' how much time has to elapse before it is reasonable to assume they are an ex-tenant; particularly if they are not paying rent or have moved the address at which they are registered for benefits?
Hamish

by Hamish McBloggs

13:52 PM, 27th September 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 21/03/2015 - 12:49
I had the new landlords of an ex tenant door step me wondering why I had written a glowing reference. They were angry.

The reference was fraudulent. Remarkable what you can do with a scanner, printer, your old tenancy agreement with signatures in and photo shop. (the mistake made by the ex-tenant was to use the old tenancy address and I happened to be in the property literally cleaning up the layers of muck and filth that had been left)

Action Fraud refused to act stating there was insufficient evidence. I told them I was disgusted. MP refused to act and I will read between the lines of the response - party line, blah blah, do you think the only one, blah blah, if action fraud can't do anything then what am I supposed to do, blah blah, mustn't be seen to pick on ... Complete waste of breath and a £70k salary.

Hamish

by Mark Alexander

13:56 PM, 27th September 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 27/09/2017 - 13:30
In answer to your question ...

"if a tenant simply 'goes dark' how much time has to elapse before it is reasonable to assume they are an ex-tenant; particularly if they are not paying rent or have moved the address at which they are registered for benefits?"

Please see this advice from Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law >>> https://www.property118.com/i-think-my-tenant-has-left-can-i-change-the-locks/

by Hamish McBloggs

12:36 PM, 29th September 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 27/09/2017 - 13:56
Thanks Mark,

I hadn't seen that article. Very informative. I appreciate the need for checks and balances; quite often tenants need as much protection from landlords as landlords do from tenants.

But now I have a gently simmering insecurity.

...if most keys are left behind (others could be lost but equally, they could have gone with the ex-tenant; the article refers to 'luring')

...if the property was cleared out except junk belonging to a (ex?) tenant. An email from the (ex?) tenant states I have permission to dump it but the email address is deniable.

...endless requests posted and emailed to complete the proper end of tenancy paperwork ignored. Phone numbers subsequently changed.

...post office redirect was implemented

So, since departure - not paying rent, utilities, council tax, the local authority no longer paying benefits at that address and the local authority now paying benefits is in a different area, possibly registered to vote elsewhere...

The only message I read from this discussion is : If the ex-tenant 'goes dark' I must have a court order for peace of mind.

I would hope that the court would find in my favour but even after 1.5 years the (ex?) tenant - who is not looking after their ailing mother, in prison or in hospital, kids registered at a school 100 miles away and who knows full well that the property is re-let but can deny the knowledge,,,,

could take me to court?!

Even if the evidence I have works in my favour I only see hassle, frustration and expense.

I will investigate the additional cost.

bfn

Hamish


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