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thomas_garbo

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Hi,

I served a Section 21 two months ago and completed a NB5 a week ago. My tenants signed an AST in October 09 and only paid one month rent but I did have two months deposit. I've been trying to get hold of him for some time and he isn't answering my calls or opening the door. I sent a letter to him on Monday this week saying that i will be inspecting the property as i'm concerned that i've had no reply (he could be dead for all i know!). I should have done this earlier I know. When I visited the property yesterday I found a bunch of youths smoking cannabis outside the house and when i asked them what they were doing outside my house they all did a runner and the back door was left open. Naturally being concerned for the property and the tenant i called the police to search the property and subsequently purchased a lock and changed the front door lock. I've come to learn today that the tenant is actually living there and he broke the new lock to enter the property yesterday night. He has phoned me today saying he will be taking legal action for unlawful eviction.

I'm an honest bloke and this is the first property im renting and i dont believe i've done anything wrong. I had reasonable grounds to believe my house had squatters.

Have i broken the law? What are the consequences of my actions?

Thanks

Thomas

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What matters is that you follow the letter of the law and you havn't - even if they havnt. Changing the lock was a bad decision. You need a court order to evict a tenant and it sounds like an unlawful eviction although you could argue that the police told you to secure the property and that you wanted to give the tenant a key and he was not contactable. Either way, take advice straight away since he probably won't take real legal action but you need to.

Hi,

I served a Section 21 two months ago and completed a NB5 a week ago. My tenants signed an AST in October 09 and only paid one month rent but I did have two months deposit. I've been trying to get hold of him for some time and he isn't answering my calls or opening the door. I sent a letter to him on Monday this week saying that i will be inspecting the property as i'm concerned that i've had no reply (he could be dead for all i know!). I should have done this earlier I know. When I visited the property yesterday I found a bunch of youths smoking cannabis outside the house and when i asked them what they were doing outside my house they all did a runner and the back door was left open. Naturally being concerned for the property and the tenant i called the police to search the property and subsequently purchased a lock and changed the front door lock. I've come to learn today that the tenant is actually living there and he broke the new lock to enter the property yesterday night. He has phoned me today saying he will be taking legal action for unlawful eviction.

I'm an honest bloke and this is the first property im renting and i dont believe i've done anything wrong. I had reasonable grounds to believe my house had squatters.

Have i broken the law? What are the consequences of my actions?

Thanks

Thomas

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Hi,

I served a Section 21 two months ago and completed a NB5 a week ago. My tenants signed an AST in October 09 and only paid one month rent but I did have two months deposit. I've been trying to get hold of him for some time and he isn't answering my calls or opening the door. I sent a letter to him on Monday this week saying that i will be inspecting the property as i'm concerned that i've had no reply (he could be dead for all i know!). I should have done this earlier I know. When I visited the property yesterday I found a bunch of youths smoking cannabis outside the house and when i asked them what they were doing outside my house they all did a runner and the back door was left open. Naturally being concerned for the property and the tenant i called the police to search the property and subsequently purchased a lock and changed the front door lock. I've come to learn today that the tenant is actually living there and he broke the new lock to enter the property yesterday night. He has phoned me today saying he will be taking legal action for unlawful eviction.

I'm an honest bloke and this is the first property im renting and i dont believe i've done anything wrong. I had reasonable grounds to believe my house had squatters.

Have i broken the law? What are the consequences of my actions?

Thanks

Thomas

I'd contact the Citizens Advice Bureau, since they're quite hot on tenants' rights, and usually give you pretty accurate advice on your position. Your situation is pretty much why I stopped letting a couple of years ago. Most tenants are fine, but when you get screwed by a bad one, it can be a bit disheartening.

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Would it have made a difference if you left a note on the front door notifying the tenant that you had changed the lock because you were concerned that squatters were occupying the property and asking him to contact you for the new key?

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You need to see the CAB and/or a solicitor asap for damage limitation. Don't put anything in writing without having it looked at first.

In the meantime, post your letter on Landlordzone - as their name implies, there are a lot of experienced landlords & solicitors there.

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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