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I am in the middle of a crazy situation with an aggressive threatening tenant. He says he has moved out but all his stuff is still in the house and he still has the keys. He e-mailed demanding money as a "deal" to "make it easier for me". Extortion. I have been to the police who are sympathetic but don't get involved. He is claiming benefits, I remember filling in a form for him about the rent. Am I legally obliged to inform the DSS of changes anyway? I would like to inform them that he is not paying rent and has said he's moved out.
Also, the police suggested going to the house and changing the locks, but the official legal advice is not to do that. Thanks!
What has your property manager recommended?
if you have registered the aggressor with the police and you have no money owed then any damage caused to the property will automatically put them in the picture. Speak to the National Landlords Association for advice. I would however attempt to arrange with the ex tenant for collection of there stuff. I believe they legally have a week to remove there stuff before it can be removed if there is an eviction notice served. The trick is to stay professional and seek advice from associations to ensure you stay legal in all dealings otherwise it become leverage for the other party.
Thank for replying. I don't have a property manager. Do I need to get an eviction notice served if they say they've already left? Or is the eviction notice still needed to force them to get their stuff out?
He has threatened to take 6 months or more to give me the keys back unless I pay him money.
Also, do I notify the DSS ? I thought I had some legal responsibility to advise the DSS if the tenant moved out or was no longer paying rent etc. As his motive is to get money, then notifying the DSS isn't going to help him.
I would highly recommend getting a good one. There are lots of people on here who I’m sure can recommend one for future reference.
You need to be careful as they are still technically your tenant unless you have cancelled the agreement which depends on what triggers you have in place in the agreement for eviction. I would hold off informing anyone until the agreement is cancelled as it may inflame the situation. Do not change the locks if they are still legally your tenant as you could find yourself in breach of contract. You must instead post notice and cancel the tenancy agreement then evict by changing locks as should be outlined in your agreement.
On the plus side the tenant is still liable to pay rent until agreement is terminated and they, once they don’t pay, will find themselves in breach allowing you to evict.
Keep your chin up, it’s difficult but all mistakes like this offer a chance to learn and grow.
thanks. I think I will have to employ a landlord legal advisor and get this done
A small consolation is that Tenant remains liable for Council Tax/Utilities until the Tenancy is formally concluded.
There is a video on PT around issue of Tenant's possessions left in situ after abandoning the property.
Where can I find the video? Thanks. I've only just joined this forum and don't know my way around.
Here is the video:
If your tenant hasn't legally ended his tenancy by returning the keys and signing a surrender notice then you will need to get a possession order from the courts in order to legally end the tenancy.
Regarding the tenants belongings take a look at the following link https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/32
Torts (interference with goods) act 1977
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So I need a possession order rather than a sec8 etc?
Have you already served S.21 - or has tenant initiated all this via rent arrears?
Assume you let unfurnished so you have lots of tenant's furniture in the property?
Assume you have a set of keys otherwise how would you know he has left stuff behind?