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hi everyone,

i am in the middle of evicting my tenant and have got to the stage where the judge has the paperwork but has not yet given tenant notice, but the tenant has done a bunk and trashed the house she just hasn't given up possession.

what if the tenant was to put the keys through the door after the judge gives notice? will i still have to go to the bailiffs to evict her legally? or can i say she has given up possession? any advice will be very much appreciated. thank you.

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I would have thought you have to wait to take legal repossession Jan 1

If the keys have been posted back through the door than it is a good sign as far as you are concerned in as much you have the keys and she is hopefully not coming back. Do not attempt to change the locks though even though you would think this is the best thing to do.

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thank you melboy, so what you are saying is even if she puts keys through the door i still have to get the bailiffs to legally evict her as she can come back and say she hasnt left?

As Grampa has said.......you need that piece of Court paper to say you have repossession rights.

If you go ahead without it you could be heading for deep trouble. Let's just hope for your sake she has actually left the property because that is half the battle won.

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As Grampa has said.......you need that piece of Court paper to say you have repossession rights.

If you go ahead without it you could be heading for deep trouble. Let's just hope for your sake she has actually left the property because that is half the battle won.

I didn't get a repossession order from my tenants they just left, without paying what they owed me, from reading this do I have to go down some formal route or is it just because jan1 had started official eviction proceedings that she has to wait?

My tenants left at the end of the tenancy agreement if that makes any difference, I didn't even think there would be any repercussions from me clearing out and putting someone new in there, until I read this

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If a LL repossesses a property without a court order there is always a risk a T could claim it wasn't lawful. In the real world it can be seen as reasonable 'if' it can be demonstrated that there was good reason to believe the T had abandoned, after all for some this is a common occurrence.

T's however, even after a long absence and without rent payment can still have a rightful claim of possession. Consider a globe trekker and believe it or not a resident in prison.

The main thing a LL need be wary of is illegal Eviction that carries heavy fines and even a prison sentence, it is a criminal offence.

I have repossessed without court involvement and will continue to where I consider I have covered, or can cover my back, but there is no guarantee I will have, a judge may well decide that later.

I don't consider that the further lost months of revenue going through the court process on top of what are more often already great losses would mean I still have a business.

Then there is the LL claim of losses against a T that would likely cancel out any T's claim for compensation. Remember this has nothing to do with the criminal aspect of illegal eviction.

To 'attempt' to cover his back a LL should investigate the likelihood of abandonment, post notices and make new keys readily available should the T later require.

Then looking after 'any' T's belongings for months is a responsibility we have. Usually it's tat, but that's a personal perception.

I would look for ways to demonstrate its low true value, and considering the T probably owes a greater amount of money I will never see, it gets tipped.

Foresight and management are of value in trying prevent the risks I mention, but these gits can make that near impossible. Where I feel I can show good efforts to consider a T interests I get on with running my business, not theirs.

Be aware also that if you re let there could be 2 tenancies for the same property and a LL could be responsible for the housing of both.

There is wording in a new AST that is purported to remove this risk, that is leaving a new T at risk of not having a home if the old T has rightful claim. I hope I never have to put that to test in court.

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  • 4 weeks later...

hi everyone,

just to keep you informed, i have now received the forms back from the judge (they got lost so i had to submit more, to no cost to myself) he has said she had to give up possession "forthwith" and i am in.. we are striping it out and repairing and replacing everything she has damaged.

bailiffs are after her for none payment of council tax (so iam about to tell them where she is hiding out) gas, electric and water are all looking for her so i am also telling them.

thank you all for your advice it has been such a nightmare time and i appriciate all the advice i have been given.

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Glad to hear some good news for a change.

Please make sure you learn from the experience and put all the safeguards you can in place to avoid future problems:

The most important thing that any potential landlord can do is choose their tenants very very carefully.

1. Get Referencies.....bank, employer and previous landlord.

2. Take out rent guarantee insurance.....its not expensive.

3. Get a home owning guarantor. Carry out reference checks on the guarantor. Give the guarantor a copy of the AST. Make sure the guarantor document is drawn up as a deed.

4. Don't let to people with pets or children......the risk of them giving you problems are big.

5. Don’t let to anyone under 18 (minors). Draw up your own limits….I prefer nobody under 25.

6. Don't let to smokers........you won't get rid of the smell.

7. Don’t do Company lets.

8. Don’t let to anyone on Housing Benefits.

8a. If you do choose to let to applicants on Housing Benefit CHECK that your mortgage & freeholder (if your property is leasehold) allows it.

9. Don't let to anyone who isn't working full time.

10. Inspect properties every 3 months.

11. Only let initially on a 6 month AST.....that way you can both part company after 6 months if you don't get on.

12. Use a reputable Lettings Agent OR one who has been recommended OR do it yourself (only if you know what to do).

13. Meet your tenants personally. Make sure you ask all the right questions and gauge whether they are right for you.

14. Protect the deposit in one of the official schemes.

14a. If you have a dispute with your tenant(s) over deductions from the deposit remember…..you can either go through the DPS adjudication process OR take the tenant to the Small Claims Court for recovery of your losses where you may have a better chance of success.

15. Issue a section 21 notice as soon as the deposit has been protected.

16. Make sure there is a detailed inventory & schedule of condition……signed by both parties.

17. Remember its a business....so avoid emotion & being overly sympathetic to your tenants.

18. Read as much as you can about renting & letting i.e. educate yourself.

19. Don’t let to anyone who doesn’t speak or understand English.

20. Don’t forget that you will need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)…….before you market the property.

21. Don’t forget to get an annual Gas Certificate.

22. You are responsible for ensuring anything electrical in the property is safe so consider getting the electrics checked professionally….and any appliances you provide.

23. Try to avoid having your property classified as an HMO……meeting regulations is expensive and time consuming.

24. Make sure all adults living at the property are on the AST & any other documents.

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