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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70715
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My tenant is in more than 2 months rent arrears and had removed

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My tenant is in more than 2 months rent arrears and had removed her possessions from the property, she had also given the keys to a neighbour. Is it safe to take possession of the property or is a section 8 notice still required? If so where should it be served as it is evident she is no longer there and she has not left a forward address. Also the council tax department confirmed she advised them she has left the property.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
What type of contract is this please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Assured short hold tenancy of 6 months
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
How much risk are you prepared to take?Do you need to get in imminently?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not wish to take the risk of being fined for unlawful possession.I am looking to sell the property and it has been left in a poor state so I would like to get in the next few weeks to make rectification works and subsequently put it on the market
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
The reality is that there is no way of regaining possession without an order without taking a risk. In this specific case, it is a fairly low risk but one exists. Bear in mind that all tenants have to do is go to the police and make an allegation. Even if it is entirely ridiculous they will still investigate and you will have to spend your days defending it. However, she has removed her goods and handed her keys over which is prima facie evidence of abandonment. You could also put an abandonment notice on the front door and take photographs of it. If the tenant doesn’t respond within a week then the chances are that, everything taken together, you probably would win. However, if you cannot take any risks at all then a S8 notice and a possession order is safer. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As it is a evident she has moved out and has handed over her keys so cannot get in would the notice still be served at the address? The tenant has not left her new address and is not replying to any contact requesting confirmation as to whether she has moved out and terminated the agreement
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, just serve it at the existing address. You are trying to protect yourself from a situation where the tenant turns up and pretends she was living there all along.I'm afraid people do lie to the police sometimes which explains the rape conviction rate.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** check- the tenancy is due to end in August. Is it likely to be quicker to give section 21 notice to regain the property in August or would submitting section 8 via PCOL be a swift process if there was no response from the tenant?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I think I would serve a S8 if they are two months in arrears.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. Sort one more question- as we believe she has lived out she will probably not respond to any notices or court dates. If she doesn't respond or attend court will the judge still be able to issue a possession order? And if a possession order is issued, as her belongings have been removed and she has already returned the keys can we just enter the property or are bailiffs still required- or some sort of confirmation from the tenant?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. Sorry one more question- as we believe she has moved out she will probably not respond to any notices or court dates. If she doesn't respond or attend court will the judge still be able to issue a possession order? And if a possession order is issued, as her belongings have been removed and she has already returned the keys can we just enter the property or are bailiffs still required- or some sort of confirmation from the tenant?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Oh yes, not responding doesn't avoid proceedings. In fact, it makes it easier.If you make the point that she has abandoned the property then you will get in even faster. I don't think there will be any problem with getting possession. It is just the delay.
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