PDA

View Full Version : Can't contact tenant after serving s.8 notice: what now?



Ben1867
25-01-2008, 14:35 PM
I served a s8 notice on my tenant for rent arrears and persistent late payment a few days ago, after having tried to contact him numerous times over the last few weeks to chase rent.

It seems I can never get hold of him, so after leaving yet another voicemail, I'm going to the flat tomorrow.

If he's not there I will let myself in to see how the place is and try and fathom what's going on.

However, what happens if I can't get hold of him and he doesn't engage with any of the legal processes (or pay rent)? If I get a court order etc, what happens if he pays no attention?

Does anyone have some experience of this and could offer advice?

pcwilkins
25-01-2008, 15:04 PM
If he's not there I will let myself in to see how the place is and try and fathom what's going on.

You are aware that this would be illegal?

Peter

Ben1867
25-01-2008, 15:36 PM
Why would that be? I've taken all reasonable steps (email, letter, voicemail) to say I want to do an inspection on saturday, and talk to him about the arrears.

I have good cause to be worried about the state of the property and the right to inspect it with reasonable notice, surely?

pcwilkins
25-01-2008, 15:44 PM
Why would that be? I've taken all reasonable steps (email, letter, voicemail) to say I want to do an inspection on saturday, and talk to him about the arrears.

You don't have permission from tenant to enter. Therefore, unless it's an emergency, you legally can't.

T is legally obliged to grant permission, though --- I'm not sure what the procedure is if they refuse it. Probably apply for possession through the courts, I expect.

In any case, if you do enter and find the property is in a bad state, what can you do about it? You still have to follow the eviction procedure. You can't just lock T out. I don't see much point in you entering, to be honest.


I have good cause to be worried about the state of the property and the right to inspect it with reasonable notice, surely?

Whether you "have good cause to be worried about the state of the property" isn't relevant.

As far as the law is concerned (or as far as I understand it!) you are just like any other person, and unless it's an emergency you have no more right to enter the property without T's permission than I have.

You may be prepared to take the risk but be aware that if T knows that you have entered without his permission, it might make matters worse.

Peter

justaboutsane
25-01-2008, 16:19 PM
I disagree about entry Peter! IF the tenant has been given notice and fails to let the LL know that he objects to entry I believe the LL can enter!

jodymay
25-01-2008, 17:42 PM
There has been recent threads regarding the right to enter property without tenants permission. The landlord may request an inspection but if the tenant refuses it is unlawful for the landlord to enter the property. That is without the tenants permission or by enforcement. This is despite what it says in the tenancy agreement. Only if there is an emergency can the landlord enter. If the landlord enters the property without tenants permission then the tenant can sue the landlord for harrassment and trying to enforce illegal eviction. The only legal way for the landlord to enter the property if the tenant refuses is by gaining a possession order and the tenant has left the property. Other than that, it must be an emergency.

Ben1867
25-01-2008, 19:32 PM
I didn't realise it could cause so much trouble. It does seem as if everything is weighted in the tenants favour a little too much though.

Suppose he's left the place without telling me? Suppose he's dead / in prison / sub-let it illegally or something? Outlandish ideas, I know...but surely in that situation he could not give permission for entry either. If I've given reasonable notice and made every effort to contact him, surely permission is implied unless he expressly refuses it?

I'll go down there tomorrow anyway, and if he's there hopefully I can talk to him. Even if he's not, maybe I'll be able to get some idea of whether he's actually living there from the outside.

I'm getting pretty sick of this business though - why should he live rent free, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it? It seems in Britain that the ordinary person who works hard and fulfills his responsibilities is screwed every time by the idle, stupid or just plain criminal who take maximum advantage of a flawed system and police, government etc who don't care about the good guys. I doubt it's that much better anywhere else...just human nature and the risks of dealing with people I guess.

Thanks for all the advice, folks...this really is a great website and the people contributing are stars. I'll let you know how tomorrow pans out.

bagpuss
26-01-2008, 17:47 PM
If you genuinely believe that a tenant has done a moonlight flit before the official end of the tenancy, are you allowed to enter? Could you request the police or someone in authority to accompany you?

Poppy35
26-01-2008, 18:21 PM
you should be a notice of abandonment on the front door and leave for 2 weeks. If no contact after this time then you can enter to establish if anyone is living there

k300
14-07-2008, 14:22 PM
If you know that the tenant has already moved out,
because:
1. the neighbours have told you that they have moved out what looked like all the furniture including beds, sofa, TV, fridge, goldfish bowl, etc. etc.,
and
2. you have checked through the window and there is no furniture,
and
3. the council says that the tenant has cancelled the housing benefit claim for that address,
and
4. the tenants car hasn't been seen for days,

Are you allowed to go in and secure the property, e.g make sure the doors are locked.
I don't mean to lock out the tenant, the tenant would still have access with their keys as they haven't handed them over, but just to make sure the back door and the windows are locked and the alarm is on and no water or gas leaks etc.

PaulF
14-07-2008, 16:05 PM
It is reasonable after two or three attempts to contact the tenant in writing to arrange an inspection, to state that you will now attend at so-and-so time on so-and-so date and will let yourself in with your own key unless they contact you to inform you that it is inconvenient or they expressly forbid you to do so. The tenant then can't complain that you have not made a reasonable effort to make a mutually convenient appointment, and it often provokes a response if they do go back to the premises.

k300
15-07-2008, 16:17 PM
Thanks Paul,
that makes sense, in fact I managed to speak to the tenant today using somebody else's phone so she didn't recognise the number (as she wasn't answering my number).
I asked her when she will be handing over the keys and she says that she has put them through the letterbox, I also asked her for a forwarding address and she refused.

This sounds like a reasonable conversation doesn't it, but in fact she's a Vicky Pollard type going at machine gun pace and 100decibels.
Very little actual conversation, just a load of abuse and threats that she will go to the Police and sue me if I harass her for the rent that she owes me.

If I find that there is nobody living in the house does that mean then that I can assume posession of the house.