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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14533
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I need help with a garage tenant has not paid rent for 6

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Hello I need help with a garage tenant has not paid rent for 6 months but Still full of his belongings. Unable to contact tenant
Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Telford shropshire
Assistant: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: Rent to be paid 4 weekly in advance. We have access for maintenance. He is now over 6 months in arrears with rent
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We have sent letters by records post no longer at address we have and phone number not working either

Good morning. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

what exactly has he left in garage?

and how was the agreement worded please

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Hello
He has 2 garages both full one has a car in and the other 2 motorbikes along with bicycles, tools and boxes. Both garages are full to the top so we are unsure of all contents. I have been told he used to do car boots so guess some of the contents are rubbish. Neither car or bikes are taxed or MOT'd I have the registrations and checked on Gov website.
I have attached blank agreement he has rented garages since 2014 and 2015
I have posted 3 times to his last known address and 2 letters returned. I have keys to garages so have now left notice in garage asking to contact me urgently
Thank you for your help

You need to amend the agreement for future.

It needs to say, “if the rent If the Rent remains unpaid for longer than 14 days then the Landlord can peaceably re-enter the property and exclude the Tenant and the Tenancy Agreement will immediately terminate”.

 

If that clause was in, then you could simply let yourself into the property and lock the tenant out. You still have to give him his belongings back and you would have to serve him a Torts Interference with Goods Act notice, giving him 30 days to get his belongings and telling him where they were and when he could collect them. That notice is better coming from a solicitor.

If you think he has disappeared off the face of the earth, (he could be imprisoned or dead) then you need to do everything you can to find him and that would include giving the notices I mentioned earlier (if you Google the phrase it will give you plenty of reading) and put a notice in the local paper asking for anyone with his whereabouts to tell you and asking him to come forward.

Putting the same requests on social media is also a good idea because then, if you do dispose of all the goods at auction to defray the outstanding rent, and he decides that whatever was in the garages is worth millions of pounds, you have proof that you try to get hold of him. Get a 3rd party with you to take photographs and do an inventory of exactly what is in the garages.

 

Can I clarify anything else for you?

 

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

 

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Thank you.

 

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

 

Best wishes.

 

FES

 

 

 

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you.
So to move forward I will try again to find him. I will wait a further 30 days from the notices. After this time can I clear the garages and dispose of contents? I am loosing rent whilst they still have his belongings in so can I continue to charge rent against the value of the contents until they are empty? What do I do with any proceeds from the contents as clause 19 of our current agreement stated - To permit ‘Insert our name’’ without prejudice to ‘Insert our name’’’s right to recover the costs or repairs or cleaning the garage to sell any items remaining in the garage on termination without any requirement to account to the tenant for proceeds of sale.
Also how do I go about removing and selling car and motorbikes? A friend may have key to car but not bikes.
Thank you

Your understanding is absolutely correct although remember that those initial letters are better coming from a solicitor. Less chance he can ever allege that they were not sent.

You can offset all of that against the outstanding rent.

People advertise for motorcycles wanted all the time in the local press. Tell them exactly what you have and they will arrange to move them.

Similarly with the car, any scrap dealer will take it away normally.

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