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Has anyone advice for the following situation. My tenant has gone AWOL. I have had no contact from him despite numerous texts and messages left. I was due to collect his over due rent 10 days ago but when i called at the property it was like the Marie Celeste. All his clothes and furniture were still there, the only thing missing was his matteress, bedding and TV, he had left all the property keys. I have given him a weeks notice to collect his belongings before i clear it myself to re-let. Am i within my rights to do this? is there a specific period of time i have to allow before i can re-advertise the property. Thanking you in anticipation.

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David Hi

I have been thru this before, even with a management agent!

Your tenant has already decided he wants out, I guess he will beck for the rest of his stuff, maybe.

The only thing you can do is wait in at the property until the swine returns, or change the locks and throw out his things.

I gave one tenant a month to collect his belongings ( I think this is the law), but he still returned after 6 weeks to get his things. This is the 3rd time its happened to me.

I would never trust a tenant again, though I still rent out property!

Good luck. dont let this tenant put you off! there are good tenants out there!

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Hi, we've got this propblem too.. 2 months behind with rent - went in to property to check and all the expensive furniture and tv gone.. we are going to change locks tomorrow and throw out stuff.. I'm not sure if legally allowed to do it or not.. but after 2 months with no communication from them and not returning messeges.. and housing benefit tell me they have cashed one cheque (not passed on to us!) and another issued... we don't feel we have a choice! The place is a tip// mud and stuff everywhere..

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I agree,

do it, the tenant is in the wrong, change the locks and cut your losses, get the place tidied up and back for rent. ( if thats what you wish!)

I would say 70% of tenants are fine, but the other 30, well...

I have been in rented property for around 11 years, if the guy is already 2 months behind in rent, why trust him.

Good luck!


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Well, went in and changed locks.. what a mess .. everything that can be broken has been - writing on walls.. carpets black (were cream) doors off hinges.. our furniture gone, and old broken stuff left in place..makes you wonder how people can live like that! Reported to housing benefit that they;re no longer there.. I live in hope of the un cashed cheque being re-issued to us.. but not holding breath!! only odd thing is a photo album left and a bunch of keys that look very much like two other flats keys (hmm.. smell a housing benefit scam perhaps).. and two of her children's birth certs.. weird stuff to leave behind.. won't throw them out - but with no idea where they are, not sure what to do with it!

Getting carpets cleaned tomorrow.. fingers crossed they clean up or we're another grand down <_<


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Moronic DSS/Housing Ben tenant horror stories? We should all swap experiences and write a book - how about 'Horror House Of Hammers'?

Throw in the official rulings of at least my local Housing Benefits Department and landlords are really in the Twilight Zone. Example;

One modern 3 bedroom semi-detached house on a small close of detached and semi-detached houses owned by a local Housing Association - Tenant? A single man in his 20's who was claiming DSS and having his rent paid direct to the Housing Association by the local councils' Housing benefit Department. Trouble was, despite being the 'official' tenant of the property and having some of his effects and belongings there, he was not really living there at all and hadn't for over 18 months - he was shacked up with his girlfriend and his abode was empty.

The Housing Benefit and Housing Association were both aware of this situation

because one of the other Housing Association tenants had a son who was in urgent need of a home and they complained to the HA and the HB, but were told by the HB that if a person had a legitimate tenancy, ie, had signed AST, paid the bond etc, and if his effects were still within the property, then until he gave notice he was still the legal tenant and as such still liable for paying the rent.

Which of course meant, that the liability for paying the rent became the HB's because the DSS claimant had a lawful right to housing benefit.

So the rent continued to be paid and the situation rolled on - empty 3 bedroom property and all.

Not long after I became aware of this situation, and quite by coincidence, I had a DSS tenant who left my property without giving notice or any other such warning, even to the other 2 tenants who shared the property with him and who had first alerted me that he had been 'missing' for nearly 2 months. I checked his room and discovered that he had left most of his few clothes, a few personal effects, some photographs on top of his bedside cabinet, and even his UK driving licence in the drawer. I told the tenants to keep me posted should he return.

Now at this time his rent was being paid directly into my bank account by the HB and it continued to be paid for another 6 weeks or so with still no sign of the missing tenant. Then I received notice from the HB that they had 'overpaid' me 15 weeks' rent for the missing tenant as he had entered a claim for an address in Liverpool, where he had been living since absconding from my property. The HB went on that they were 'deducting' the overpayment from the rent allowance of my other 2 tenants.

Of course, I protested, and quoted exactly what their own department had ruled in the case of the non-resident HA tenant, even citing the example in support - name, address, dates and all.

Can you wise landlords guess the outcome of my appeal?

Bang on! It seems the HB are a law unto themselves and there is a different set of rules for private landlords as opposed to Housing Associations. They deducted the 'overpayment' from my other tenants rents.

Anyway, it was reading your posts on the subject of disappearing tenants that prompted me to post this, and I can only advise you to bag up their belongings and store them, then clean the property and re-let to ensure income. Should the cheeky b*****d return for his belongings, agree to hand them over when he has paid the relative number of weeks storage charge - let him go to the trouble and expense of using the 'law' to gain possession of his property. My bet is he will walk away and you can then utilise the nearest dump.

Three years ago I had to 'give away' my small portfolio to pay off debts incurred because as a landlord (and businessman) I was naive, sympathetic and socially charitable to tenant after tenant who turned out to be thieving, lying scumbags, and though there are decent DSS tenants out there - I was one myself for a short time after I lost my money - I will now keep charitable feelings and sympathy exclusively for my children and family.

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  • 1 month later...

As I am new here can I first of all say I to all that use this forum as I no doubt will be back to ask a few more questions before I hopefully in the future after no doubt inheriting a few grey hairs along the way will be able to return the favours and answer a couple myself.

If I have posted this correctly it will be in a string of questions about tenants going awol. My question is like above. My tenant owes 5 weeks not been seen for 10 days,phone turned off, place like a tip ie cant see the beds for rubbish,wallpaper torn of walls, but quite a bit of furniture there ie cheap tv, tumble dryer, my question is which direction should i go now 2 months notice OR give it another week and bag up and re let????

Any help , advice gratefully received regards and good luck Allan

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Hi siempre

My advice to you is tread very, very carefully. If you are following this to the letter of the law, then either court order or serve 2 months NTQ and follow the route that that one takes you if any at all.

A walking possession without an order is very very dangerous.

If you do, I would place a 7 or 14 day notice on the door stating what you have done and that to gain entry and collect belongings they must first contact you.

After all you had to change the lock as when you arrived at the property the lock was broken and the door was open (of course it was). But remember, if challenged by your tenant saying they want to go back in, as much as it hurts, you must do that. But coupled with my suggestion, make sure a NTQ gets delivered to the property, by hand (thinking belt and braces here).



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