Possession order applied for but think tenant may have moved out what to do?

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We have applied for a possession order under section 21, and currently awaiting a decision from the judge (the court having had no objections from tenant). I have been told by his employer that the tenant has moved out and is now living with his ex-wife, he has not moved his possessions out of the property and he has not returned the keys. He is aware of the notices served though, and a few weeks ago told his employer that he could not move his stuff out because he had no vehicle to transport it. His employer (someone I also work for) has offered him the use of a company vehicle if needed.

We have visited the property over the past week, and although most of his stuff (including clothes) is there, he does not seem to be living there - no evidence of him going into the bathroom for example as items left in front of the bathroom door remain undisturbed. Our Estate Agent has told us that if there is no evidence that he is living there we should be able to change the locks and claim posession, but as the same EA completed our court application for the posession order incorrectly in Dec causing some considerable delay, I have no confidence in their advice. Are we entitled to change the locks if it looks as though the tenant is no longer living there, even if they have left what appears to be a considerable amount of their posessions in the property? Orv is it safer to wait for the court order to be granted - this has gone on long enough and I don't want to do anything at this stage that may cause further problems, but I do want to get in there ASAP and get it ready to be re-let.

15/02/2012 00:00

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