Housing benefit tenant 's month in advance in DPS, tenant quits without notice leaving a big mess.

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Josephine Richardson
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Our disabled housing benefit tenant had been waiting to be found suitable accommodation by social services for over a year and repeatedly agreed to give 1 months notice when she had a moving date. However, in the event she failed to give notice and concealed from us the fact that she had moved out. By telephone she was telling us that she was staying with her sister after an operation as she could not manage at home. Then on the 4 May I telephoned the tenant to tell her that we were coming over to the UK (we live in Spain) and would want to carry out a property inspection on the 10 May . She then said that she had just that week moved out of the property on the 1 May. I asked her to provide a letter of notice to state she was vacating the property on the 10 May (to get something in writing to take possession)
We looked at the property on the 9th and phoned the council on that day to inform them that we had been to the property and seen that she “appeared” to have vacated the property although we could see there was still property of the tenant through the windows. We had already arranged to meet the tenant at the property on 10th May, she was a no-show but had left a set of keys inside the property. She was not responding to phone calls.
The next week when when we queried a rent payment not being made to our account the council informed us that the tenant actually moved out on the 4th April and the council had transferred her claim to a new address (of course without telling us the landlords).
The council claimed overpayment and (following your online advice article, we objected, giving them the details of the tenant’s actions. The council have just this week informed us verbally that will not now be pursuing their claim against us for overpayment from 5th April up to the 23 April but that still leaves us 16 days rent (263 GBP) out of pocket.So finally, to my question - Any suggestions/advice please as to who we could recover the unpaid rent from?. We had a council bond one months rent which has been paid out and has covered a small part of the skip hire for clearing and cleaning at the property which the bond officer said was the worst she had ever seen. The tenant paid 475 GBP in advance but no deposit as the council bond was in lieu of a deposit We were advised by the council to pay the month in advance paid by the tenant to the DPS deposit scheme, as it could ,they advised be considered to be a deposit.
Do you think the council has any liability for the 16 days rent?
I can try to claim this from the DPS for the period of no notice but am not sure whether they will accept this as the rental agreement stated that this money was money in advance not a deposit. -what do you think?
Similarly, I am also going to try to claim a little more of the costs of the damage left by the tenant (which cost thousands to repair and renew,) from the DPS. Do you think they will accept this as a valid claim?
Jo Richardson

18/09/2017 10:58

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