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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70709
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have a tenant who on the 1st February owes nearly £4000 back

Resolved Question:

I have a tenant who on the 1st February owes nearly £4000 back rent, he has said he intends to quit but he has not been seen since beginning of January- his furniture and belongings are still in the property and I have no forwarding address. He is on a short hold tenancy agreement.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What action can I take to reclaim my rent and gain possession of the property?
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Is he working ?
Does he have any money?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not aware of him working at present, I think he is under medical care for depression, I know he has little in the way of assets. only what is in the property.
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
I suppose the deposit doesn't cover it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No - deposit was £295 Months rent when tenancy began.
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Are the goods at the property worth anything?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Everything has some value - but at what point can I gain entry and clear the contents?
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Well, there are no guarantees really.
You could argue that he has abandoned the property. Then you would just have to serve an abandonment notice upon the property giving him a week to make contact and if he does not just gain entry.
I would always counsel caution before doing that as tenants have been known to make false allegations of unlawful eviction when landlord's do that. If you are desperate to get back in then it is a risk you can take but I would never suggest placing yourself at risk however lawful your actions actually are.
In terms of the arrears, you can always sue. You may not have an address but you can trace him easily enough. Probably not worth it though as he sounds a man of straw. You can keep the deposit.
In terms of his goods, you do have to hang onto them for a reasonable time but unless there is anything of very high worth that would be no more than a week or two.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your council - how or what is an Abandonment Notice? What statuary powers does it have - how critical is the wording of it?
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
The wording is always crucial but it is simple enough.In law, you are entitled to repossess without an order if a property is 'abandoned'. The problem is that it always involves a risk because tenants turn up and allege it is not abandoned.An abandonment notice is simple enough - Just that you believe the property is abandoned and if you don't hear to the contrary you will enter and repossess.The problem is that his goods are still there and he will argue he was just away.
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