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GabrielP428
GabrielP428, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 391
Experience:  Expert
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My tenant owes me 8 months rent and has disappeared leaving

Customer Question

My tenant owes me 8 months rent and has disappeared leaving all his furniture. A registered letter telling him I wish to sell and reminding him of his arrears has been returned to me unopened from both addresses I had for him. I have not used my key to enter the property. What can I do now to repossess in order to sell
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Rugby Borough Warwickshire
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Sending registered letter to his given address and another through the letterbox of my house where his furniture still is
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I have looked through windows and seen belongings such as sofas but don’t know if he has removed personal effects
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.

Hi, my name is***** am a solicitor in England and Wales with 9 years of experience and have worked in the legal sector since 2008.

This service is not instant, so please note that I cannot always reply immediately due to other work commitments. I look forward to helping you with your legal problem.

If you would like a call to discuss this further, please let me know

A call is a premium service that includes an extra charge.

Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.

Hi, is there a tenancy agreement?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I will wait for your emailed response. I think I have made situation clear
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
dated 3/12/2020. Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement
Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.

What was the duration of the agreement? Is there a break clause?

Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.

Are you looking to recover the arrears as well as obtain possession?

Or are you only after possession of the property?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Either party can terminate subject to 2 months notice from landlord
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Just possession and then I will sell. I am 76 and widowed recovering from cancer and can’t take this
Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.

The quickest to regain possession:

-Notice on the door(abandoned notice)-Put a notice on the door with your details and give the tenant 14 days to get in touch. If he fails to get in touch, you can change the locks and obtain possession.

-I honestly think the safest way is to obtain accelerated possession orders from the court. You can do this online:

https://www.gov.uk/evicting-tenants/accelerated-possession-orders

Tenant belongings

A landlord must give notice to a tenant that he intends to dispose of any goods left behind in a property, as per Schedule 1 of the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977.

This notice should be sent to the tenant’s current address (if known) as well as attached to the property, in case the tenant returns to collect his goods. It is sensible to stick the notice to the inside of a window adjacent to the front door, so it’s clearly visible if the tenant does come back.

The notice must contain the following information:

  • The location of the goods
  • If the goods are to be sold, the location of the sale
  • Notification that sale and storage costs will be deducted from the proceeds of any sale, should one take place
  • A list of items being stored

Notices must be sent via recorded delivery.

It is customary to give the tenant 21 days’ notice to collect their goods, but you are free to offer longer than that.

If you can’t get hold of the tenant or they haven’t given you explicit permission to sell or dispose of their belongings, then the bailee (landlord) can sell the uncollected goods if the following applies:

  • The tenant has failed to collect their goods after the period specified in the Schedule 1 Notice (usually 21 days).
  • The landlord is unable to contact the tenant because they left no forwarding address and any reasonable attempts to find them have been unsuccessful.

I hope that helps. I am happy to answer anything arising out of this.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you. That is very clear for the moment. I will work through the details and put up the notice on the door immediately. I will also check accelerated possession online. Must I wait until the 2 months notice has finished even though my recorded letters have been returned in the last 3 weeks
Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.

If you do section 8 to accelerate the procedure, you do not have to wait.

For section 8 to be successful, there must be over two months of arrears. If there are

arrears of more than two months, then section 8 would be better for you. 

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you. Arrears are 8 months. I will check section 8 online now to see if we can use that
Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.

I have sent you a premium offer that will stay open for seven days if you wish to speak over the phone at some stage.

Thank you so much for using Just Answer. If you have further questions, please do feel free to ask them in this thread.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Gabriel. Section 8 seems longer since presume delay from court and then 6 weeks. The 2 months notice given to him expires either July 31 , if calendar month assumed , or earlier if a lunar month of 28 days. I saw him in January 2022 at the house , when he owed me 6 months rent and that month he paid rent and again February and March. April and May no rent again making 8 months in total of arrears and no word from him or response to my letters. I have no forwarding address. I plan to ask neighbours tomorrow when I put up the notice if they have seen him at all.
Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.

I see. You can do section 21, but it won't be valid if you haven't served the gas certificate and other relevant documents.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Do you agree with my asking neighbours and not using section 8 or 21 in these circumstancesin these circumstances.
Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.

Only use the "tenant abandonment notice" route if you are absolutely convinced that he has left the property for good. Speaking to the neighbours is a good idea.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Can I go into the house to see if the goods look like they are only abandoned items with no obviously personal possessions in use or is that trespass. I am thinking personal grooming, clothes or shoes. The things I can see from outside are just large furniture items
Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.

You can send a notice by email that you intend to visit the property.

Wait for 24 hours after serving the notice and then go in.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Is it ok to ask the employer from whom I checked references in December 2020 if he is still working ther
Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.

Absolutely.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you will send email now and go into house tomorrow and speak to neighbours and ask employer . to try to absolutely confirmed he has left. Can I get in house clearance to take it all away after the 6 weeks
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Gabriel. Email sent. Thank you. You have been extremely helpful and patient
Expert:  GabrielP428 replied 16 days ago.
You are welcome.