Moved out without telling - damaged good and deposit question

Hello there,

Our tenants have been in our property for over a year.
No problems throughout tenancy, however in Feb 2021 got a text from one of the tenants to tell us they have spilt up and theyll be looking to move out end of March.

We kindly asked the tenants if we could check the property before advertising to be rented.
We found a load of damages made and a sofa they threw away without telling.

WIthout getting into it the damages came up to £1600 an although we have £1000 deposit the damages made will not cover it all, weve chased them on the remaining balance and instead got a text to say ’ hiya weve moved out the property and has been empty for a week’ - when actually someone was in the property 2 days ago- we also havent received this month rent.

And we have not had the keys returned to us - so we’ll be changing the locks tonight.

What is the process of keeping the deposit? In order to release the funds how do we go about this?

Thanks so much

Has the tenant served a formal notice? Ifso then the tenancy continues until it expires and you have no automatic right to enter. If not, then I would advise them that they either make themselves available tomorrow to sign a deed of surrender or the tenancy continues and you will pursue them for the rent. I wouldnt get into the damage at this point. Until you have possession you won’t know the full extent of the damage and how much they owe you anyway. You can claim it later through MCOL.

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MCOL is not available for Landlords unfortunately

I don’t know where you got that from Kevin because landlords use MCOL all the time.

I may be mistaken but I tried using MCOL on Monday and one of the yes or no questions was “Am I a landlord” answered yes and was told I can’t use MCOL.

I found that I have to use
Make a court claim for money - GOV.UK (

How to make a claim

You can apply to a county court to claim money you’re owed by a person or business.

This is known as making a court claim. It often used to be known as taking someone to a ‘small claims court’.

Maybe this is new system replacing MCOL but definitely couldn’t proceed as a Landlord claim using MCOL