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My rights after section21 served


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Hi, not posted for a while as no problems but I now have a tenant due to move out tomorrow and not sure if she will! I have served the section 21 correctly. Everything else has been done correctly. She is in arrears which the deposit will not cover. How do I check if she has gone, she keeps all the curtains shut so it is hard to tell. At what point can I enter the property to check? 

I have been in this position before but not for some time, laws change!!! 


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Post a notice of intended inspection with 24 hours notice. With all your contact details detailed you can 'hope' for a response from the T.

The only way you can legally and correctly enter is by Court order and that would require a Bailiff action. 

I would be looking for evidence of departure, talk to neighbours to see if removals have been apparent, ring the energy supply companies to see if the accounts have been closed out, ring the local Council tax office to see if you have become responsible for this (that can take a while though as more often it is only when a HB T becomes registered at a new address that the account will revert to you).

If the evidence of departure is there you should then consider abandonment procedures.


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"How do I know if my tenant has left"   This is a common issue that arises and no one wants the extra cost of applying for a possession hearing if the tenant has already vacated.

As a agent we deal it by speaking to neighbors to see if they know or have heard anything, calling the tenant, guarantor, next of kin and document the calls even if there is no reply. Write, email and text the the tenant stating we believe they have now vacated and we will be entering the property on xx/xx/xx, please reply by xx/xx/xx if you are still living at the property. We might even knock on the door a couple of times before that date to see if someones answers.

Then on the date stated I will visit the property with a witness and camera and open the door. Nine times out of ten you can tell if the tenant have vacated by half or all the furniture gone, pile of letters on the door mat (mostly debt collection letters) rotten food in the fridge and piles of rubbish everywhere. You then have to take a decision if it would be classed as reasonable to be assumed the tenant had left in the eyes of a judge. If yes take lots and lots of photos. You want photos of empty areas and photos of any items left. You can choose which to show at a later date if needed.    

Yes the letter of the law states you need a court law to take possession and you could get into trouble if they hadnt and you took control. So dont dispose of items yet just change the locks put a notice on the door telling the tenant to call xxxxxxxxxx if they are still in possession (take photo of notice).

It is then up to you when you start the clear up, decorate, fix repairs needed.

The next question is how much trouble can you get into? Well its a criminal offence for illegal eviction and a fine (prison if its really serious) but in reality if you have only entered the property once and given/offered the property back if the tenant contacted you that mitigates it a lots.

Having read up on few illegal eviction cases it seems in some cases the fine is a lot less than 5 months+ lost rent it takes to get legal possession if the tenant isnt paying rent but you do end up with a criminal conviction. Not that I'm suggesting anyone should break the law. 

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I was about to ask the same question when I found this topic.

I have a tenant who has been served a Section 21 notice by an eviction specialist so I have every confidence that it's been done correctly.

If the tenant doesn't move out then the eviction firm will be instructed to obtain a court possession order & a bailiffs visit if necessary.

My concern,  if the tenant isn't there, is that the property could be in need of urgent attention, for say a water leak, & I wouldn't know until the bailiffs went in.

Also there's the slight problem of it not being insured if it's empty so there must be some legal way of checking.


He & his wife have split up. She has already moved out & she says that he intends to stay in the house until the day that the Section 21 expires but he does intend to move out.

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