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B) I would be really grateful for some advice please. We recently purchased a three bed flat, which is shared by three tennants who are all on individual short term tenancies. All was fine until one of them went on the sick, we knew he would be off work for a few weeks. He claimed benefit which has just come through after waiting 5 weeks! Anyway during this time he had gone to stay with friends which we thought nothing of as he had had some sort of breakdown.

Since being off sick he has paid no rent at all (presume he thought the claim would pay it all - um wishful thinking!) We have now found out that he has moved in with some woman miles away and he planned on keeping his room on in the flat in case the relationship didn't work out. So far he owes £357 and his contract doesn't end until end of August. We have a £300 deposit of his.

I spoke to him last week and suggested that he make a decision regarding his contract, i had no problem with him keeping the room on providing he paid all he owed within 7 days and if wished to terminate the contract then he would need to pay for the remainder of the contract. I said that if he didn't contact us to make arrangements then we would dispose of the few personal belongings that were still in the flat.

Not sure if i've messed things up, if i've said the wrong things or even if we have the right to touch his things???????? When do we tell the council etc etc

Please advise, Polly

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The Joys of being a Landlord!

This is a classic case of the major problem you have with a multi-share arrangement and one person, to all intents, drops out.

Personally I doubt very much if you will progress this any further and you have wisely given 7 days notice for some action regarding payment. Fortunately you do have the £300 deposit which does help.

In view of his personal problems, no employment, no money, and the fact he has moved into another place the chances of resolving this is definitely minimal.

All part of the Landlord learning curve!

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Box his personal belongings up (assuming he hasn't got a four poster bed ! ) and store them at your home / garage etc.

Inform him, in writing, he has 14 days to collect or they will be disposed of as you deem fit. If you know where he lives drop them off at his front door!

Legally you can do what you want with these items after 28 days.

I might add that you will have started formal proceedings against him by giving him notice that as he has abandoned the property by his total absense and non-payment of rent and refusal to communicate with you.

The key to all these type of problems is to carry the process out in writing and keep a copy of all the letters written for future reference.

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I wish I was able to contact him in writing, he however doesn't feel it appropriate that he pass on his new address to anyone! Therefore I have no contact address.

Thank you for you reply, your time is appreciated


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Fine, then you can safetly say that by his refusal to communicate with you he has abandoned the Tenancy and you can make steps to dispose of his items but keep them for 28 days or longer if you wish.

Incidently, I was in this position a few years back when a Tenant did a Moonlight Flit and I kept a large box of personal items for over 6 Months in my Garage. Contents included Clothes, shoes,and household effects. I disposed of the items around 7 Months to the local recycling centre. Would you believe 14 Months later, through my Letting Agent, the cheeky Blighter asked if he could have his belongings back!! He got a short, sharp reply and the name of my Solicitor if he wanted to make a claim against me.......never heard a word after that!

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  • 1 month later...

Legally I do not think you can take the flat back without going through the legal process. You have information that he is staying with his girlfirend and he will see how things go.

This does not imply that he is giving up his tenancy. He did not give in keys and still has his belongings in the flat. illegal eviction is a criminal offence - you can be imprisioned, fined and may have to pay a hefty compensation.

I would serve a Notice to Quit first on the property/room. Only at the expiry of this will I consder taking any action.

You did say hb was in payment also - even if partially it is in payment again does not imply he has abandoed property.

You may also wish to serve a section 21 notice to cover youself he case he does turn up and you need to go down the possession route.

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