How long should we keep tenant property following a change of locks
Sorry this is a bit long.
We have 2 joint tenants. I'll call them T#1 and T#2. They have been served a section 21. There is a court hearing booked for the 29th Sept. They have not entered any defence to date. The property is a flat with only one entry/exit uPVC door. We only have a mobile number for T#2.
Four days ago on the 15th the police kicked in the door to gain access to arrest some relatives of the tenants. The tenants werenít at home at the time. Someone has been holding a vulnerable person and forcing them to hand over their benefit payments.
We have no idea how long this has been happening, whether this person has been moved from house to house, nor do we know how implicit our tenants have been. We only know this person managed to escape to the local shop, who alerted the police, who forced entry to arrest the relatives causing catastrophic damage to the door and lock.
The property was boarded up overnight on the 15th and we replaced the door/lock on the 16th. We left a notice on the door advising we had needed to change the door/lock and for the tenants to contact us for a key and also sent a text message to T#2.
On the 17th T#1 rang and asked us to meet at the property. They didnít want a key just collected some belonging and said there was nothing else they wanted although they wouldnít sign to say they were giving up the flat and when asked they said they couldnít speak for T#2.
All Facebook presence for the tenants has disappeared. Someone answered the mobile but put the phone down when I asked for T#2 by name. Subsequent phone calls have been unanswered. Messages are not responded to including a message to request tenant contact us to make sure belongings arenít disposed of when we clear the flat.
I have contacted the benefit office to apprise them of the situation so I should imagine their benefits will be stopped.
Whatís the general opinion on how long we have to keep hold of the tenants belonging? Although I havenít been through their belongings there is nothing of any value apart from items of a sentimental nature and a couple of hamsters.