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Problem tenant


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Hi all,

My boyfriend and I rent some properties out but this is the first time we've ran into serious trouble:

Tenant was constantly late paying rent;

Resulted in council paying us direct;

Issued a section 21 with the 2 month notice - that date was 15th Sept;

She hadn't moved out!

Received a letter from the council 2 weeks ago saying she was no longer entitled to housing benefit;

My boyfriend rang council to ask why - they said they had received a formal letter from her saying she was no longer living at the property. Yay we thought!!

My boyfriend went to the house, didn't have keys so had to get a locksmith to change the locks just to get in - we thought fine as there is this letter to the council as proof she doesn't live there anymore;

But when he entered, ALL of her possessions are still there - from tv's to food and clothing.

Neighbours have said they haven't seen her for weeks, if not going into a month or more.

What do we do? We have informed the police who have been to the property but haven't really given us an indication of how long we have to keep the stuff for, if at all? The tenancy agreement was initially for 6 months, then the agreement was 1 month rolling on.

She doesn't reply to phonecalls or texts and we have no other way of contacting her. We have got text messages (last one mid-September) from her saying she wanted to leave. She seems to have disappeared, along with her boyfriend and 2 kids! Bizarre situation. It would be so much easier if she had left the house empty.

Any help would be appreciated - thanks!

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Do you have a copy of the tenants letter to council saying she's moved out?

If not, ask for copy before any further action.

It may be your only defence against possible harassment if tenant returns to find you have changed locks, removed tenants belongings etc. Beware that some belongings may be on hire purchase, i.e. not property of tenant.

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Guest caravanj

Oh dear, you've got a shed-load of potential problems.

The fact that she's told the council, in writing, that she no longer lives at the property does not mean that she's relinquished her tenancy & she could return at any time & sue you blind.

There are loads of cases where a landlord has thought that a tenant has quit & the tenant has returned & sued the landlord for £thousands.

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