Evicting vulnerable tenant in hospital – Landlord Action response9:55 AM, 3rd July 2019
About 2 weeks ago 69
I wonder if anyone can give me advice on what they might do in my position over a potential tenants notice period dispute?
I’ve had good tenants in a house for about four years who recently told me that they might be looking for a larger property in the near future, but that there was no urgency. As we were due to go abroad on holiday for 3 weeks from 10 Nov I gave the tenant my daughter’s phone number to contact in case of an emergency.
On 22 Nov I had a call at 4am in New Zealand from the tenant. I sent her a text back and asked her to text as I was in NZ.
She did so, telling me that she’d tried to phone me a couple of times and that they were moving out on 7 Dec. I sent a text back saying I’d accept her text as written notice to leave on 22 Dec, that they should pay the usual rent on 1 Dec and I’d refund as appropriate. She immediately sent a text back saying “I tried to give you notice but couldn’t get a hold of you. A letter is at your house for notice to end on 7 Dec. I also tried to contact our daughter as well.”
My daughter sent me a text on the same day to say that she’d received a voicemail from my tenant on 22 Nov saying that they had tried to get hold of me and they were moving out.
I didn’t respond to to the tenant as I wanted to enjoy my holiday, but now we’re back and have found the letter at the house dated 10 Nov, saying they are moving out 10 Dec (not 7th as stated in texts).
My tenant may well have been unable to contact me for a few days earlier by phone as it was switched off, but we left on 10 Nov, and she didn’t phone or text me, or phone or text daughter until 22 Nov. Although the letter is dated 10 Nov it could have been delivered any time up until 30 Nov when we returned.
Surely I’m not being unreasonable to say that she could have done more to give me proper notice?
I intend to claim the deposit in lieu of rent as I’m sure she won’t pay the correct rent. The annoying thing is that I sent their deposit away for custodial protection just before we went on holiday to comply with the new Scottish regs.
What would readers advise me to do when I get in touch with them?
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