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monty75
28-02-2006, 14:55 PM
I have/had a tenant who was 8 weeks behind with their rent, which I subsequently served a 21 (I knew there was no chance of getting the arrears back). The 2 months notice required expires on the 4th March. At which point, I was probably going to have to go for accelerated possession as she probably won't/wouldn’t go quietly.

However, I have just spoken to the Tenant's mum, who has always been very helpful on the matter. Who informed me that she went into the property last week and said although some of her belonging were still there, she was pretty sure the tenant/daughter had moved on. Especially, as the tenant had lost her key and only her mum now has one.

However, where the issue gets complicated is that out of embarrassment the mum felt it her duty to clean/tidy up the house. Although, when it came to one room, she informed me that the room was a health hazard e.g. it was clearly evident drugs had been used, syringes and other items left lying around. Therefore, she obviously didn't want to tidy up the room. She also noted that the things like the fridge had gone/been sold!

What I need to know is how I can go about gaining possession of the property, whilst abiding by the law. Therefore, if I believe that the property is vacant, plus been used for taking drugs, do I still need to gain possession via the court and if so how do I go about it? Or can I regain possession and re-secure the property (via changing the locks or whatever else I feel is fit to do) and put a note in the window explaining the property has been re-secured and please call 1234 5678 910. If this is the case can I do it straight away, or would it be advisable to wait until the 2 months were formally up (only 4 days way).

I have also been informed by the mum, that there is still a certain amount of the tenant's property there, what can I do with this?

I’d appreciate, any help and advice; as this is turning into the nightmare tenant from hell!

davidjohnbutton
28-02-2006, 16:02 PM
If you have a look for some of my postings previously, you will find that I have given some guidance on this sort of thing where the tenant appears to have abandoned the property.

In your case you have formed a view that the tenant has gone from a number of observations and from one firm source which is the mother. My own opinion is that entering the property with that knowledge documented and photographed as applicable will protect you from a criminal claim for unlawful eviction and probably from a civil claim as well taking into account the un-likelihood of the tenant returning.

Tenants have in the past scammed landlords like this into thinking they have gone, only to return and mess up the works by claiming they have been in hospital/prison/staopping short term with relatives.

The only legal ways to recover possession are by court order and by voluntary relinquishing the tenancy - you have to make a judgment based on what you have heard and seen and as said before, you must document everything by way of evidence just in case the worst happens and a criminal or civil process is started by the tenant.

As for the tenant's property - you must keep it and try to contact the tenant for a reasonable period - say three months - after which you can dispose of it.

Ericthelobster
28-02-2006, 16:33 PM
If the tenant knows you have documented evidence of the drug use, somehow I can't see her trying to pull the sort of scam that DJB suggests, can you?!

If I were you, I'd go round the whole property with a witness, a video camera, and today's newspaper (to record the date on film) and then change the locks pronto!

In terms of cleaning up the place, I think if it was me I'd end up doing it myself - carefully - but out of interest, does anyone know how on earth would you set about finding someone to employ to do a cleaning job like that?

Ericthelobster
28-02-2006, 16:33 PM
If the tenant knows you have documented evidence of the drug use, somehow I can't see her trying to pull the sort of scam that DJB suggests, can you?!

If I were you, I'd go round the whole property with a witness, a video camera, and today's newspaper (to record the date on film) and then change the locks pronto!

In terms of cleaning up the place, I think if it was me I'd end up doing it myself - carefully - but out of interest, does anyone know how on earth would you set about finding someone to employ to do a cleaning job like that?

monty75
02-03-2006, 09:35 AM
Many thanks for your comments, I took a judgment call and re-secured the property, placing a small note in the window stating this, and giving a phone number should anyone require access.

The tenant's mother has also agreed to get a signed statement from the daughter, stating that she formally relinquishes the property. Which will hopefully, mean I will have formal legal possession and therefore don’t have get possession via court.

With regards to cleaning the place up, if you saw the state of it, I don’t think anyway would clear it up. Used needles, blood splattered up the walls...a complete an utter mess/ drugs den. Have spoke to the council, police, environmental health, you name them I’ve spoken to them! Anyway, as it’s private property, no one can help, the council, even refused clean it up if I payed for the service and could offer no better advice tha to look in the yellow pages.

Anyway, no normal cleaning companies will/would touch it. Therefore, I’ve had to find a specialist hygiene and cleansing company, there very few and far between. I found one, in a radius of 50 miles. Needless, to say they charge a premium/danger money and I await there quote!

Now onto stage two and the council/social services/guarantor that housed her!!!!