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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69365
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We served a Section 21 and Section 8 on a tenant because he

Customer Question

We served a Section 21 and Section 8 on a tenant because he owed over 3 months rent. He had an AST for one room. The Notices were due to expire on 31/10/15. The tenant responded by email that he would leave the property by this date. On the 26/10/15 he loaded most of his property in a car and left what appeared to be rubbish all over the floor. He left the keys on the mantlepiece and the door to the room open. He has not been seen since then. We have tried to contact him by email and phone to confirm he has left, with no response. Can his email be regarded as notice and how long do we have to keep his belongings for.
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. I am a qualified solicitor.
Property that the tenant leaves behind still belongs to the tenant and normally should be returned to him. If you throw away property belonging to the tenant which subsequently turns out to be of value, you may be subject to a claim from the tenant for damages.
I would suggest that you continue attempting to contact him and keep the property for a reasonable amount of time. Make sure that your communications are well recorded (for example text messages, emails and recorded delivery letters) so that if the tenant return's and makes a claim regarding the property you can demonstrate reasonable efforts to contact him were made.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hello. Im afraid the answer above is not complete. There are two issues here. The first is whether or not you can rely on notice. In fact, on the face of it, he has abandoned the property. He has left his keys and removed his property from the rented premises. Therefore notice falls away. You do need to gather evidence to prove that there has been abandonment - for instance, take photographs etc. Then he cannot turn up and start lying without you being able to defend yourself. In any event, you S21 can be relied upon and that is all you need. The second is the property. You have already attempted to make contact with him. However, I would send him one email and one text separately saying no more than that he has left his property and should collect it within one month on a date by arrangement. Make clear that in default you will dispose of it. The law of abandonment of goods is quite complicated but you are only under a duty to make reasonable efforts to contact him. One month is usually a generous amount of time to allow a person to collect. One week is acceptable. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jo, Yes, please can you clarify what is meant by 'your S21 can be relied upon' . Also can the email the tenant sent be taken as notice. Thank you.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
What my colleague is referring to is that you need to keep evidence that the tenant has abandoned the property, and if he returns you can rely on the S21 for the date you requested him to vacate by.
The email from the tenant can be used as evidence that he was aware of the notice if he returns to contest the situation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I'm sorry to be pedantic but please can you tell me if the email from the tenant can be taken as notice..
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the intervention when you clearly requested me.You served a S21 notice. That is the basis to evict him. You cannot just evict him if he doesn't go but it would give you a claim.The email sent by the tenant is a non issue. It has no relevance at all to this situation. You need to prove he has abandoned the property so take photographs.

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