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danler

I think tennant has done a runner - my rights?

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Hi All, I hope someone can help answer my question.

 

I have a property which has been let out to the same man for the last 4 years, however I have been trying to get hold of my tennant for about 4 weeks. I have called round at the house but no answer, I have posted business cards for him to call me but no reply, I don't have a new telephone number for him as he lost his mobile about 4 months ago.

Today I recieved a letter from the council that his housing benefit has been suppended because they are unable to review the tenants claim.

Tonight I again when round to the property but no answer. I cannot see into the property as there are blinds up which you cannot see through (he has always had these up). I think he has done a runner..

 

What rights to I have regarding entering the property to ensure if he has left or not???

 

Thanks in advance

 

Danler

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I would post a letter through the letterbox giving him 24 hours notice that you intend to enter the property. Wait the 24 hours and then go in. You've served the required notice and so are within your rights.

 

I believe you are also within your rights to enter immediately in an emergency, maybe you're concerned for his health since you haven't seen or heard from him and the house hasn't changed each time you visit and you just want to check he's ok?


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Tread carefully- even with 24 hour notice the tenant has a right to refuse permission and if he finds out that you have entered without his permision and with a poorly defined notion of "emergency", he would be within his right to allege trespass. When does the tenancy expire? Is the rent being paid?

Is there a break clause in the tenancy agreement? Is there a term in the agreement which states that the property musn't be left empty for specified period?

I would try to exhaust all legal ways of getting access or re-gaining posession before you go in. Even if it looks like the tenant may have gone away but left his posession there you cannot take possession of the property at this stage. Moreover, even if a tenant has disappeared and taken their belongings, some would argue that unless you've served notice properly, you must still go through the courts and cannot enter the empty property until given possession.

Have you researched an option of hiring a tracing agency?

More detailed advice on what steps to take can be found at LandlordZONE Forums - Rental Property Questions


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Hi Joa

The tennancy aggreement is due for renewal thats one of the reasons I have been trying to get hold of him. The second reason I have been trying to get hold of him is to send round a firm to carry out a damp proof.

The rent is no longer being paid. It was paid from Housing Benefits, they sent me a letter saying that the HB was being suspended as they are unable to review the tennants application. I am assuming that HB have sent him a letter and he has not replied (Another tennant of mine had a letter about a month ago about reviewing the houing benefits).

 

I will try a 24 hour emergency notice - see if he does contact me. I will also try the neighbours to see if they have seen him.

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Well, if the tenancy is about to expire, then you are in a better position, but only slightly- because the tenant doesn't have to vacate on expiry. You would have to get a court order and maybe even an enforcement order to get him out. I know that on a balance of probabilities he is most likely to have left, but be cautious!


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