Do I have vacant possession?

After serving S21 on tenant which was up on 25/11/22, I watched the tenant load up vans yesterday (26th) and move out. He has verbally informed me he would remain at the property until he receives a court order to vacate and wait till bailiffs arrive.

But if I have witnessed the tenant move out would I be wrong to assume I have possession of the property? Can I legally enter? Change locks etc… If so do I need to put up a notice of abandonment?

The tenant hasn’t officially told me he has vacated but after watching him move his furniture out and S21 expiring can I take back my property?!

If he has only verbally told you he would remain at the property there’s no evidence he can throw your way to suggest otherwise and that you shouldn’t go in, on the face of things.

But others on here will know more so await their response!
Mrs T

It sounds too risky to me. He has told you his tenancy is not over and has presumably kept the keys. You cant just re-take possession in these circumstances. However, you can inspect by posting 24 hrs notice through the door and letting yourself in with your keys, (unless he’s changed the locks).

The other thing you can do is serve a common law Notice to Quit on him now, which is usually a month (check). Send it to the property and every other form of comms you have, (email, whatsapp etc). Once it expires the tenancy should end unless he moves back in before then. The reason for this is that as its no longer his primary address, the tenancy is no longer assured. I would suggest you get some proper legal help with this from a housing solicitor.

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When my tenant refused to hand over the keys after S21 and vacating property, I said they will be still liable for rent , council tax etc. That made them to handover the keys. Does your tenant know that he is liable for all the bills including rent until you get your keys? .


Oh he doesn’t care what he is liable for bill wise.

But thanks all…… I have put an inspection letter through door for tomorrow….(hanging out so I can see if he’s collected it).
I’m thinking a letter of abandonment …. I have text messages telling me he’s leaving, not paying rent, no furniture in property …… I think it’s reasonable to consider his actions as giving possession of property. Fingers crossed I don’t hear from the tenant!
Least I found where he has moved too, that is just a bonus!

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so bailiffs can be sent to that address! You can also find out who owns it thru Land registry for a few quid and if a landlord owns it tell him what the tenant is like


Oh I’m going to throw everything at him!!


To be honest this sounds like the sort of tenant that knows the law and will sue you for illagal eviction if you re-take possession. I strongly suggest you get some legal advice.