OpenRent Community

My tenants have disappeared

Hey. Pretty new landlord. New to this whole thing really.

I checked my bank account recently and noticed that I hadn’t received the rent last week.

I called my tenants a couple of times and they didn’t answer.

I was a bit worried, and they don’t live far - so I went round.

I knocked (wearing my mask) but they didn’t answer again. Then I noticed that the curtains were open, and the property was completely empty.

Anyway, long story short - I’m pretty sure they’ve disappeared. The neighbour hasn’t seen them in a while. The mortgage goes out soon and that’s a worry. What do I do? Any advice really appreciated. It’s all quite scary.

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Stupid tenants, have you checked your local?
check the property, change the locks, keep the deposit, on to the next. That’s my advice.

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Leave a notice on the door telling you will be inspecting the house in 24 hours
Record everything
Post the note and record yourself posting the note
If you can get an independent witness from council to assess abandonment all the better. Or get a solicitor to come with you
When you go in record everything
So if there is comeback you did everything to assess abandonment

Tenant Abandonment - Property Hawk - Online Software for Landlords.
Google abandonment

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This is a tricky one.

Legally speaking the tenancy is still in place and any attempt to change the locks and seek new tenants can and does sometimes back fire. Be sure of what your doing and your right to do it before taking any action.

You might be better taking legal advise if unsure.

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The first thing you should do is look at your Tenancy Agreement. Did you use Open Rent to set it up? If so, it’s available when you log in to your account.
From there, you’re probably going to need to take legal advice. but first, look at what your Tenancy Agreement says about when it ends, etc.

Feel free to ask if you have any questions, we’re all happy to help here!

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As already suggested, the actions a landlord has to take to establish Implied Surrender" (abandonment) are more an art than a science. You would need to read everything you can find, watch the David Smith video and then possibly seek legal advice. However, it’s worth doing because it could save you months of no rent while you go through an eviction process.

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Thanks for all your replies and advice, I’m very grateful! My dad recently passed away and left me the house so I’m out of my depth here!

He set up the tenancy agreement a while ago and didn’t take a deposit… I checked and it says the tenancy ended last week… what can I do now??

Can they just leave without telling me?

I am sorry for your loss
I’m afraid tenants do what they want. They should tell you but they don’t
They have left. to make sure this is not entrapment, get a second party as a witness for abandonment from the council or a solicitor and follow as I have written
Get the electric meter and gas meter pictures ( take photographs)
Let utilities and water know and give images of meter readings
Tell water the property is void, no water is required and the bill should be stopped.
Let the council know they have left
Cut your losses and move on and readvertise or sell the property
If you don’t know what you are doing get an estate agent if you want to continue to let the property

Tenants are ususlly entitled to leave at the end of a fixed term without notice, so it may be thats what has happened. They are supposed to let you know though. Do you have their names and details? You may be able to look them up on social media and see if that gives any clue as to where they are now.

Take photos of:

  • the property now its empty
  • the mail piling up
  • the utility meters once a week to see if they’ve changed
  • the fridge to check for food
  • the bathroom for toiletries and toothbrushes
    Take a written statement from neighbours about the last time they saw them and ask if they’ll sign it

Finally speak to a housing solicitor at somewhere like JMW or Anthony Gold and ask how safe you would be to assume their tenancy has ended.

The legal route takes some time, however, someone suggested a shortcut when it happened to my live-in-tenant and it worked. They suggested I contact my tenant and ask to return their deposit, do it immediately if possible in person, with paperwork they need to sign to surrender property back to you. It doesn’t always work, but you can get it rented back out quicker.

This happened to me too!!
I let out my sisters house when she went into assisted care. Tenants left without saying a word.
VERY STRESSFUL.
Good luck Cal94

Thank you so much for all your help. If Open Rent is as nice as its customers, it must be great!
I hope it’s clear how much I appreciate it… this is super stressful to me.

So I went and looked through the windows again today. And have sent a note by registered mail so I have receipts.

I had a look around for their social media accounts but I can’t find anything… it makes me feel a bit weird. Honestly I’m a little worried about them. I hope they’re OK!

I will take legal advice, although without the rent coming in, I’m worried about the cost.

I wish I’d talked to the tenants sooner!

No need to worry about them ! They have done a runner.

Do not send mail registered
If they are not there they cannot sign for it and can claim, correctly, they never received it!!
You may then be accused of harassment
Always send mail first class post and ask for proof of postage ( receipt with address on it). That is how mail is normally sent as per contract

Argh! I didn’t think about that, there’d be no one in to sign for it!!!

Thanks again for all your help - I’m going to take legal advice, though it is so expensive!

I use Stewart Bailey of Hibberts in Cheshire
We have found him reasonable.