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Using P.O. Box address instead of landlord's address in Tenancy Agreement

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Hi all,

I am a private landlady and I would like to know if I can use a P.O. Box address in my tenancy agreements instead of my home address.
I recently had a problem with tenants who were coming to the end of their fixed term AST (Nov 2010) and were claiming that they would not be able to pay for their final month's rent. They were adamant that I wouldn't receive anymore payments from them and they demanded that I use their rental deposit to offset the final month's rent - even though it stated clearly in the tenancy agreement that this would not be acceptable. They said that they would leave at the end of the tenancy.
Soon after, the tenant then came several times in person to my address to try and "negotiate" this matter. On the first occasion he reiterated that he could NOT pay the rent due to financial difficulties.
On a second occasion, he came in person again and claimed that he now wished to remain in the property and was willing to pay MORE rent! He was demanding a new tenancy agreement.
On another occasion, the tenant's SISTER (who is not my tenant) turned up at my address and claimed that the tenants do in fact wish to stay and that her brother (my tenant) had given her the money for the rent to pay to me directly on my doorstep. I did not accept the money because they would have taken that to mean that they could stay in my property - something I was trying to avoid!. I told her that I did not wish to let my property to her brother anymore.
This all happened within the course of about 10 days and I could never reach the tenant on his mobile nor would they open the door to me when I visited the property. He was simply turning up at my house without prior warning any time he wanted.
Now, (thankfully!), the tenants have moved out (keys were returned 4 days ago) and they have stopped turning up at my door, BUT they have left an awful mess both inside and outside the property; one month plus 5 days rent arrears and possibly unpaid utility bills.
They gave me no forwarding address to send their post to and I now have the enormous task of disinfecting and sterilizing the property and potentially dealing with the bills (with no deposit to fall back on) before I can even THINK about putting it back on the rental market.

So, after all this,... to avoid future tenants turning up at my house any time they want or throwing bricks through my window, Am I allowed to use an address (for notices and such) which is NOT my home address? Is a P.O. Box address in the tenancy agreement permissible?
I look forward to any good advice anyone may have and sorry for the long story!

22/11/2010 00:00

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