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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71153
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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The police have broken into one of my flats and arrested the

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The police have broken into one of my flats and arrested the tenant. They unofficially say there is no possiblity of his return. They also deny me or my agent access to the property. My question is; what can <I do about regaining possession of the property? and what can I do about lost income due to their taking possession?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
They will let you back in long term.
If this is a crime scene then it will be sealed off for the SOCO investigation and your rights over your property are a non issue. A police investigation takes priority.
Of course, it does depend on how serious the allegation is. Many reports to the police are mindless trivia. They are not going to seal off the property for one stupid domestic argument. If its a proper murder or an allegation of serious drugs supply for instance then that is different.
The type of allegation depends on how long the SOCO investigation takes but its not normally long.
The reason they won't give you access is that you will contaminate evidence and also from your point of view you would probably prefer not to have to explain why your prints and DNA are at a serious crime scene.
I'm afraid there is no claim for loss of income. People can be put out of their own homes for the purposes of the investigation of crime.
The only way to regain possession is to let them complete and then go back in when they agree. The laws of property and contract has no impact here. This is a police investigation under PACE.
In terms of removing the tenant, from what the police have said I don't think you need to worry about that. They clearly intend remanding him or bailing him elsewhere. Of course, a court will have to review that at some point and they may take a different view. However, if the tenant is kept elsewhere for any length of time then you can take possession for abandonment.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How long before I can repossess the property for abandonment and what do I do with the tenant's possessions?

It depends how long the SOCO officers need it for but you don't have to wait very long if you can genuinely show abandonment.
If you receive notification from the police that he has been remanded then no more than one week.
You are under an obligation to keep his property and take reasonable care of it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It could take an indefinite time for him to be remanded. What is the minimum time before which I can claim abandonment?

No, it can't.
There is a time clock on police custodial periods now. The days of people going into police stations and not coming out are long gone.
There are no minimum time periods. It depends on the circumstances. You have to show genuine abandonment. If he has been remanded then he is not coming back. If he has not then he may be coming back unless you can show long term abandonment - such as the removal of his goods.