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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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I am a private landlord and have a tenant in arrears for 3

Resolved Question:

I am a private landlord and have a tenant in arrears for 3 months. She is claiming housing benifit but hasn't passed it on to me. I have just applied for a court order for eviction but she has returned the keys to me ahead of this hearing. She still has 4 months of a shorthold tenancy agreement. How do I stand? can I advertise the flat and relet it?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.
tdlawyer :

Hello, thanks for your question. My name is ***** ***** I can help with this.

tdlawyer :

Has she effectively given you back the tenancy? It sounds like it, which would be called "abandonment" of the tenancy.

tdlawyer :

This means that you can do as you like with it, as she has surrendered it back to you.

tdlawyer :

Technically, if you cannot rent it out again, you would be entitled to claim damages from her for ending the tenancy in breach of its terms (i.e. before the minimum period had expired).

Customer:

She has just put the keys through my letter box with a note saying here are your keys, it that enough in law?

tdlawyer :

It probably is, but personally, I would hang on a week or so and check whether she goes back to the property. If there are no signs of her, then it's pretty decent evidence (taken together with the keys being returned) that she has surrendered the property back to you.

tdlawyer :

I have to say, I can't see a reason anybody would return keys to the landlord unless they were saying "have it back".

Customer:

She has no money, no job and no possesions so to persue a claim would be pointless. I do still have her deposit held in a scheme but my agreement says she only gets it back when all bills and rent has been paid so can I keep it

tdlawyer :

You most likely can - you can only keep it to cover actual expenses that you have incurred (or will incur) arising from her tenancy. So if it needs cleaning etc., and you have to pay to do that, it's something you can keep to the extent required to cover those costs. Also, if rent is missed due to her leaving early, then the deposit can cover that sum missed in rent.

tdlawyer :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

yes, she owes me £1200 but has spent the housing benifit on booze! I will inform the council on monday that she has left and inform the court that I no longer need the court order for eviction. Is there anything else I need to do?

Customer:

Is there anything else I need to do?

tdlawyer :

Thats a lot of booze at £12k! You should continue with the Court order for eviction, it gives you security.

tdlawyer :

But apart from that, no, there is nothing else you are likely to need to do, apart from then inform everybody (utility companies etc.) that she has left.

Customer:

Thanks I will be checking the electric meter as its bound to be in arrears.

tdlawyer :

Is there anything else I can assist with?

Customer:

No I think thats clear, unless she does something stupid, hopefully this problem will just go away.



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