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  • Landlords in Distress

    End of tenancy - Safe to change locks?

    Hi all

    Interested on some advice in this situation on behalf of a friend who is a landlord.

    The situation so far...
    He had served notice on tenant. Two months. Tenant has confirmed and agreed they will be out on this day.
    On day of checkout, landlord turns up to the property to meet with the tenant. 
    No answer, so he lets himself in. 
    Tenant is nowhere to be seen but all belongings (furniture, clothes) still in place. 
    Landlord has been trying to contact tenant for past few days but no response.

    What is the landlords next plan of action here?
    1. Change locks and put tenant's belongings in storage?
    2. Go to courts and start the possession process?
    3. Anything else?

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    Tenancy only ends upon surrender by tenant or court order on behalf of the landlord. Surrender is normally return of keys, if the tenant hasn't surrendered and given that a tenant does not have to reside then I would say first off do not go back in. Make every effort to contact tenant, next of kin to find out what the tenant's plans are. If no progress is made then apply to the courts on basis of expired S21 - assuming everything was done correctly with that possession will be granted. The next "milestone" will be rent day!

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    I assumed that would be the case but was secretly hoping for another answer!

    I find it bizarre how a tenant can leave the tenancy on the date that was previously agreed, and because the tenant is not present on the day and not responding to communication, the landlord will have to go through hoops because everyone is unsure of what the tenant's intention is, even though they previously confirmed to vacate the property on said day!!!

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    Yeah you could assume they had vacated the property and left loads of shit behind for the landlord to clear....
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    Actually just reminded me of an ex's property with a problem tenant. He supposedly moved out, locks were changed only to be broken into when he needed his dss cheque and hadn't told them he had moved on. Couldn't prove anything of course!
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