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Tenant has left with no notice


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I had a tenant renting a small 1 bedroomed flat who was in to the 6th month of a 12 month shorterm contract. She contacted me to say she had the chance of a 2 bedroomed flat and was interested in it. I explained that to get out of the contract she would have to recommend a suitable tenant to take on her tenancy, or if I could find someone we would go down that route.

I have now been told by a third party that she has left and is now living in the 2 bedroomed flat, but she still has the keys for my flat. I have spoke to the local housing benefit people and they assure me they are only going to pay for 1 property and as she had notified them of her move to this new flat that is the one they will pay for.

I have had no formal notice that she has left, she has not returned my keys, there is still some remaining furniture in the flat and I still hold her deposit. Legally where do I stand as regards going into my property and changing the locks if she is not forthcoming with the keys and retaining her deposit for rent I am missing out on due to the hounsing benfit not paying her rent??

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