DSS Tenant in Abandonment

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I wonder if you can provide any guidance for my current situation. My first DSS tenant has recently given notice after a relatively problem free 12 months. She gave me notice only by telephone and moved out after 6 days (AST requires 1 month notice). 80% of her rent was paid by DSS direct to us, the remainder she topped up herself in cash.

She has moved out and left the keys and it has subsequently become clear that she is running away from debt collectors. She has not left a forwarding address and is not returning phone calls. There are lots of bills and when visiting the property we have had a couple of debt collectors round looking for her. There is a fair amount of cosmetic damage and a few things missing which the deposit will more or less cover. I have informed the DSS that she has given notice and advised them of the AST termination date (i.e. at the end of the notice period). She has now contacted the DSS apparently to obtain housing benefit for her new address. However the DSS have now written to me asking for a refund of the past few days' rent.

I am not clear whether the DSS are obliged to pay me until the expiry date of the tenancy or only the day she vacated. Clearly if I can't get the last month's rent, the deposit will not be enough to cover both this and the damage. Also is there any way I can obtain her new address through the DSS (or otherwise) to track her down? I would like to recover the deposit (Deposit Protection Agency) with her knowledge/consent but without an address this seems unlikely.

Any advice gratefully received.

Kind regards


28/07/2008 00:00

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