Tenant left without notice and agents folded?

by Readers Question

10:13 AM, 4th July 2017
About 2 years ago

Tenant left without notice and agents folded?

Make Text Bigger
Tenant left without notice and agents folded?

I have a tenant who left in the middle of a tenancy never returned, but with all of their belongings still in the house. To add to the misery, the letting agent also folded at the same time, so we have no valid contact details of the tenants nor even the number of deposit lodged with deposit protection scheme, so we can’t start the eviction process.

We are left completely high and dry in this situation.

Not even to worry about the rent arrears, I’m really appreciate any pointers on how to regain the access of my house.

Cindy



Comments

Mandy Thomson

21:43 PM, 10th July 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Tarry" at "09/07/2017 - 21:37":

Terry - I want to contradict you but there simply is no legally recognized abandonment process at present, although there is a bill to bring it in going through. In the meanwhile, a landlord can get away with what is otherwise illegal repossession/eviction if, and only if, they can demonstrate that the tenant has given an "implied surrender". This means:

The tenant handed back the keys
Tenant has provided hard evidence of his intention to discontinue tenancy
Tenant's possessions have been removed and no one else living in property (any lodger or guest of the tenant is not a trespasser if tenant gave them a key)
Rent payments have stopped

Preferably all four, but as often happens, keys are NOT handed back, so the landlord has to rely on the other three conditions. In these situations, I have almost never heard of rent payment being continued, but if it is, clearly a landlord cannot assume implied surrender.

If the tenant provides some form of written evidence, this might be taken as implied surrender, provided rent has ceased and vacant possession with removal of goods has also happened.

Without the above, we are left with:
tenant has removed his possessions (save for rubbish and odd item - probably something on HP and/or tenant provides hard proof - email, text, social media, told someone who will do statement - that he won't be claiming those items).

Mandy Thomson

21:59 PM, 10th July 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Cindy Lee" at "05/07/2017 - 11:37":

Hi Cindy

Please accept my apologies for the delayed response.

To answer your question: only if the tenants defend, which seems unlikely under the circumstances. However, if they do defend, if the deposit was not protected AND the prescribed information legally served on the tenants within 30 days of their paying it, they are entitled to sue for 3x deposit plus legal expenses, which would mitigate any rent arrears or damages award you received. If an agent took the deposit, and you can prove the protection was supposed to be in their name, the tenant should sue them. However, if the deposit was supposed to be protected in your name, you remain liable.

The right to sue for this is only limited by the Limitation Act, meaning the tenants have 6 years from payment.

1 2

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

New Paragon 80% BTL products for individuals Ltd co and LLPs

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More