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my tenant is on a 6 month fixed AST. She owed a bit of rent and i have been chasing her for it only to get a text from her saying she has had some trouble (not with the house) and that she is going to have to leave and i can keep the deposit and that she is sorry.

i have called, texted and visited the property and she wont respond or reply to me. i went into the house and it looked a bit ransacked but not in a bad way (cupboards were all open and table on its side, no tv) but some other furniture was still there & food in fridge but not sure how long for.

Its been 2 weeks now and she hasnt been in touch, the house looks as if she has not been there at all so can i just assume that she has gone and go in and change the locks? Shes only been there for a few weeks so there is ages to go on the AST.

Can anyone advise what is the way to go about things?

Many thanks


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Strictly speaking, the only way you can re-possess the property is with a court order. However, if called on, so long as you can provide evidence that you thought the property was abandoned you should be OK. Save the text message, speak to the utility companies, collect any other evidence such as letters lying around unopened, speak to neighbours to see if they saw anyone move out, call the council tax office, send an abandonment letter stating you will re-possess the property in 14 days and so on. Change the locks but consider leaving details on the door of who to call if access is required(not to everyone's liking). Bit of a grey area so need to protect self as much as possible.

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