Welcome to Home Relief Bulletin Board
Monday 26 October 2020
by the Property Team
Post No. 164
Bespoke Property Rescue Mission Service with Abandoned Properties
This week’s topic for work with landlords/ladies and home owners is abandoned properties.
My tenant abandoned my property, what should I do?
Abandonment happens when a tenant moves out of a property before the tenancy has expired, without informing their landlord/lady. There are many causes of abandonment which could include the following:
• Outstanding rent
• Unpaid bills
• Loss of job
• Change of legal status
• Change of tenant’s personal circumstances
• Economic hardships caused by the coronavirus and so on.
Whatever the reason or cause (justified or unjustified), there could be a cost to be beard, especially for the landlord/lady.
What could be the costs?
There could be loss of rent for landlord/lady, legal costs, maintenance costs, the costs of pressure, etc. The situation can even be worse when tenants leave behind their belongings and or pass the keys to someone else or simply squatters get in. What to do?
What is the legal position on the abandonment matter?
The legal position on this matter is that the tenant still has a legal right to return and take up residence at any time and it is a criminal offence for landlords/ladies to do anything to prevent the continuation of the tenancy. It is as well a criminal offence to end a tenancy without going through the proper legal motions.
What are the options available?
The only option for a landlord/lady is to go through the legal process for regaining possession of an abandoned property which can take months.
This is why Home Relief provides Bespoke Property Rescue Mission as a rescue service for any property which is subject to disputes between the two parties, particularly where the landlord/lady lost control and would like to regain control.
No tenancy can be perfect. No matter the kinds of precautions you may take before it begins. For as long as you are dealing with human beings, there is always a possibility of human error and something can happen in the future. Abandonment is one of the problems which can happen. Home Relief’s Bespoke Rescue Mission Service covers this problem. If abandonment happens, then it needs to be dealt with.
Abandonment case studies
• First case: Single Renter
Few years ago, we come across a case whereby a landlady came to see us in tears. She informed us that her tenant left her flat in pieces in Streatham without notice.
This landlady let her flat by herself. Before letting the property to the tenant, she collected one months’ deposit and one months’ rent in advance. The tenant provided some forms of references (.i.e. employment, previous landlord, bank statements, etc.).
After one week of letting, the landlady went to flat to check if everything was alright and if the new tenant needed anything. She found the door was damaged and open. She entered the flat she discovered everything was in pieces and the tenant disappeared. It was like a movie story not a reality. She screamed and came out. She started to look for a letting agent and came to us to explain what happened.
Without getting into details about this terrible case, this just highlights the need to carry out a proper vetting system before renting your property to anybody. Perhaps, by involving those who take letting as their professional occupation could help.
• Second case: Group of Single Renters
Three professionals rented a 3 bedroomed flat in Streatham some years ago. They signed a one year assured short hold tenancy agreement. They agreed as well to an additional document that stated they were jointly and severally liable to the rent, which was paid on a calendar monthly basis.
After six months of occupation, the landlord realised that one third of rent was not paid. When he called to the property to check with them, two tenants told the landlord the other one has left without informing them and they thought he informed the landlord. The landlord told them he was not aware of his vacation from the premises. He also reminded them their obligation towards the rent was joint and several. They then claimed that they were not related to the tenant who left without notice and did not have any obligations whatsoever to pay rent on his behalf.
This second case reminds us that what seems to be a straightforward situation could be indeed a very complex one as we are dealing with human beings.
Anyone who has a property which has been abandoned and is wondering what to do, they can work with Home Relief to sort out the matter.
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