How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71159
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

My name is***** my tenant has moved out and left

This answer was rated:

Hi my name is***** my tenant has moved out and left no forwarding address, and is not answering his phone. He has left the property in a real mess, and has also left loads of his own belongings, which I have bagged and put in one room. The outside is also a tip with piles of rubbish and bags everywhere. I have left text messages on his phone but he has not replied
He has a deposit still with the estate agent, can I use this to pay for a skip and cleaner? Also how long should I keep his belongings?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What type of contract is this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We have a written rolling contract drawn up by our estate agent. With two months notice for us to him and he has one month notice to us.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We gave him two months notice then he asked for more time so we gave him an extra two weeks
Ok. If this genuinely is not an AST then you wouldn't have to protect his deposit.
If there are issues of damage or arrears then you can reduce the deposit accordingly as long as you can show that you were put to cost as a result.
In terms of his belongings, just send him one text giving him one month to collect and making clear that in default you will dispose of them. If he does not collect in that time then dispose of them. You are only under a duty to do what is reasonable. You cannot instruct private detectives to track him down.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Could you tell me what AST is please?
Assured shorthold tenancy agreement.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He moved out on the 10 December, do we still need to give him a months notice for him to collect his items?
There is an argument that you could give him 14 days but I would give him a month just to cover yourself.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The estate agent holding the deposit has said we can only use this money with his written consent, is this correct?
It depends what is in the contract but probably not.
usually a deposit is taken for exactly that reason.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have just got the agreement out and it states that this agreement is intended to create an Assured Short Hold Tenancy
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you still there Jo?
Then that is a problem.
You should have protected the deposit and you are liable for three times the sum of it if you did not.
I wouldn't get involved in this . Just give him his deposit back to bring an end to the claim and forget about the damage.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But it does say in the contract that any damage / cleaning etc. can be deducted from this deposit?
Yes, and it can.
But you are liable for three times the sum of the deposit. I wouldn't provoke a claim.