Property abandoned by tenant

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Anyone got any bright ideas on this one?

My tenant, who is on a rolling AST, announced 3 or 4 weeks ago that he was having to move out of the property without giving notice due to a bereavement. His last rent was due on November 17th but was not paid. I was prepared to let him off his notice period due to the circumstances as long as he cooperated with the Agent and myself. He gave us a date by which the house would be ready to hand over and over-ran the date but didn't bother to communicate with us. Eventually we managed to get a response from him and he said he was having problems finding the money to move the last few bits and pieces out of the property (he needed a van and does not drive or have a car). That was a week ago and I have since left messages for him offering to help him with the moving but neither the agent or myself have heard a dickie bird.

I have explained to the tenant that it is imperative that the house is not left unheated because of the damage which could occur if pipes freeze etc'. He is in no position to pay for any repairs and my buildings insurance will not cover it because the property is unoccupied.
I am not local to the property and my Agent is due to inspect tomorrow. I know that the tenant is no longer living there but may still have some belongings at the house. I am very worried about the possibility of damage occuring and feel that I have been put in an impossible situation by my tenant.

I want to inform the tenant that the lock has been changed on the front door and that he must contact the agent to arrange the time to collect his belongings. Obviously I won't be able to re-let the property until his stuff is out and the house has been formally handed back but at least I will be able to make sure the house is heated and secure.

I really don't see why I should have to go through protracted and expensive proceedings to gain control of the property when I have been a very reasonable and accommodating landlord who is now at risk of financial loss due to the actions of a negligent tenant.

Has anyone else had any similar experience and if so how was it resolved?

14/12/2010 00:00

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