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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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my property is currently empty my tennant lease expired 28/12/13

Customer Question

my property is currently empty my tennant lease expired 28/12/13 i have had no communication from him can i re enter my home and take possesion of it section 21 was served 2 months prior to end of lease i assume he has found alternative accommodation. i need to know that if i take possesion and secure my flat by changing the locks that i am not criminally or civily liable to prosecution if my ex tennant turns up insisting that he never moved out officially and what do i do if i find some of his belongings still in the property
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Do you know for sure the property has been abandoned - ie have they keys been returned please?

JACUSTOMER-ohamg095- :

no to both. flat in london i'm in somerset agent acting as liason but has had no recent communication neighbours have confirmed he hasn't been at the property for several days my concern is break in , vandalism, or that he has passed keys on to another party how long do i have to wait to secure my property i feel this is urgent for security reasons

Alex Watts :

The problem you have is this. If you can not be sure they have moved out then if you re-enter the property then you can be subject to prosecution for an unlawful eviction.

Alex Watts :

What I would do is that to be sure you can issue proceedings using https://www.possessionclaim.gov.uk/pcol/

Alex Watts :

If you issue proceedings you may be able to use the accelerated procedure which means a Judge grants an order for possession on the papers.

Alex Watts :

Once you have the order for possession, at the end of this you can indeed change the locks.

Alex Watts :

But I would always get an order for possession before entering the property.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?