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Tenants will not vacate property- Homeless Landlady


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Hi Everyone,

I am an overseas Land Lady - who is letting out a 1 bed flat in London. Basically I was made redundant and had to leave the UK to find employment elsewhere.

My tenants have been an absolute nightmare.

1. They never paid the rent on time and at one point where 3 months in arrears.

2. They have consistently damaged my property and I have had to pay for these external damages.

3. They changed the locks to the doors making it impossible for the agent to carry out any inspections.

4. Through out the year I had to deal with constant complaints from the neigbours for loud music, parties during the week until 4am in the morning.

5. The neighbours complained about drug activity and pollution in communal areas.

6. The flat has been subject to police raids three times.

7. Drugs have been found on the property.

8. Two arrests have been made on the property.

9. At one point I received reports of squatters living in the property as they were climbing through the drain pipes to get in through the windows

.... the list goes on

Anyhow, they are finally due to leave in 2 days (Section 21 notice was served), however the neigbhour has noticed some strange activity from the tenants in the last few days.

Basically these tenants have screwed in a large metal sheet over the door, and panel window- including a metal bar. It has become obvious that they have no intention of leaving. (There is one tenant living in the property... I dont know the rest of these people who are now occupying the flat with him).

My estate agent has been totally useless and I intent to also take legal action against them.

Anyhow, my problem is that my work contract has expired and I am due to return to the UK on the 20th of September.

If these tenants refuse to leave I will effectivley be homeless!!!

Dont these tenants become squatters? If I go to the police upon my arrival can they kick them out?

Could anyone offer any advice on what I can do?

Many thanks in advance.

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Being homeless does not entitle you to take up residence immediately. You let the flat out so you take responsibility.

Assuming Section 21 was correct ( please do give dates and method of service) on expiry you have to fill out Form N5B from the HMCS website and apply for a court order to evict them. The fee is £280.

As soon as you get a court order you can instruct the court bailiff to attend and remove the tenants - further fee payable - if they are the ones you let to they are not squatters - totally different ball game.

The police will NOT take any action as it is a civil matter. You have to find yourself somewhere to stay. Tough life aint it!

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Yes Sophie you are now facing a civil action through the legal system of the UK Courts.

Your tenants are not squatter's so therefore the police will take no action to remove them.

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Get a copy of the Section 21 notice and tell us the dates as well as the dates of the tenancy.

Tell us about the deposit.

Form N5b is straightforward enough BUT you need to pay £280 and if your section 21 is wrong then it is lost money and pointless.

Estate agents don't usually cover S21 in their procedures and this makes me suspicious that yours may be wrong.

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The tenancy was an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. It was for 12 months - from the 12th Sep to 11th Sept 2014.

The section 12, was dated 26 june 2014 and gave the 11th Sept for date of expiry.

There is a Deposit Protection Certificate from mydeposits.co.uk. It covers from the day the deposit was collected (12th Sept). The period of protection was from the 16th Sept until 3 months from the date the property is vacated. It is signed only by the estate agent - the tenant did not sign this.

Many thanks.

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I take it you mean Section 21 - the dates look OK but how was it served?

The recommended way is to send 2 copies from 2 separate post offices by 1st class mail and sender keeps the 'free' proof of posting certificates from the counter staff.

If S21 sent by registered post chances are that occupiers will not sign for it and say in court that they were not served.

So how was it served? And what proof of this is there? This is key to your case.

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Thanks Mortitia-

It appears the tenants just deceided to pack and leave this afternoon!

They handed in the keys to the agent. The agent has been around and there was some damages to the property- smashed back door, smashed windows, broken stairs e.t.c

The locksmith is replacing all the locks now.

Its not great but its good riddance - hopefully they will never come back

I will be much much wiser and careful about tenants.

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