Tenant Abandonment and Eviction question

Kind advise needed please. Tenant refused to pay rent from the moment they moved in. They are now two months in arrears .

Two weeks after moving in , they indicated they wanted to leave and wanted their deposit back on the spot in cash, but refused to sign any documents or end of tenancy . After that meeting , within hours they left the property without informing us. Days passed and there are clear signs of abandonment. They are not at the property, window is left open , no response to letters or emails. No written communication , but in a phone call told me they dont want to pay rent and havnt left property and warned me not to go in or they will call the police.

It is extremely evident through several means that they have left the property /it is not their main home and they have no intention to pay their council tax / rent /bills . Also their Universal Claim officer told us that tenant are not cooperating with them for the housing benefit either.

It is clear that the tenant is intending to be rough with us. We placed the first Abandonment notice , under their door two weeks ago. Someone told us we should also have emailed it to them even if they never respond to our emails but because we have their email address , it had to be sent via that email as well .

So, did we serve the first notice of Abandonment incorrectly? Should we serve it again but this time ensuring we send it by First class +email it to them etc ? or will the first one be sufficient.
The shorthold tenancy is signed for a year.

Help please . Really appreciated

I think this sounds like entrapment.
You may want to call the council or the police to make sure it is not being used as a grow farm.
They can determine abandonment but the fact you have in writing from them it is not abandoned means it is not.
I would advise you to take legal advice immediately

Hi , thanks so much for your kind reply.

We are not entering the property at all . However, we do not have anything in written from them not to enter the property.

So far tenant is trying their best not to give us anything in writing and almost everything is in verbal . They are not living at the property , the externally placed meters are informing us that electricity is not in use at all.

Also , we have had a leak in the upstairs and adjacent flats , water also went into the shops downstairs . This has been requiring urgent attention , ( the source of the leak was the upstairs flat ) , despite several attempts to allow access for a quick look for possible water damage , they didnt allow us in ( because they havnt been living there )

But in the last meeting with them , we had noticed they had no refrigerators /washers or any major furniture in the property. A very shabby bed base and torn mattresses were all they had .

Their car is not parked in the off road either and no one has seen them since at least two months now

One of the flat windows is left open as well, no lights on.

There is no smell of any farms since it is a block of flats and the immediate neighbour would have definitely noticed it , also the open window or possible use of electricity would have informed us of possible farms ?

Please tell me if this helps at all .

Get legal advice first thing tomorrow
JMW or Anthony Gold are reputable

They bypass meters so there would not be any use of electricity.
I am not sure how fast the smell appears if there is a farm.
The other issue is an illegal immigrant/ housing a criminal or it’s a drug base.
Take legal advice. You shall need an injunction for entry and if you need an injunction you need to get eviction started as soon as you can

Did you get any rent?
Did you take a depoist?
Do you have a guarantor?

The council can go in and do an abandoment assessment. So can the police.

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That is good information , they havn’t paid us any rent since they moved in.
They did pay us a month’s deposit which is with the deposit scheme .
The guarantor turned out to be her brother or husband , she kept changing status of him. but that fellow is definitely with her and even though is a guarantor , is no use for us , as we tried speaking to him but he is abusive instead and tells us to leave her alone !

Should we simply request the council to go into the flat to assess abandonment?

Did they not pay the first months rent the day they moved in?

There is no legal abandonment process as it was never enacted. If you have enough evidence you can assume implied surrender, but given what the tenant has said to you, I would agree that you should get legal advice before acting.

what was never enacted?

no , they have simply not paid any rent since they moved in. They paid deposit and first month rent at the sign of tenancy. Within two weeks of move , they informed us they dont want to pay rent and now they are two months in arrears .

Is the Abandonment notice system not legal under the Housing and Planning Bill 2016? It is part of legislation isnt it?

I believe, and please correct me if I am wrong , The housing and planning Bill 2016 , allows for legal end to tenancy in case of abandonment.

and if that doesnt work , should we have to wait another few months until the rent arrears have reached 6 months of value and then serve Sec 8 ?


This is the link to the Bill 2016.

That section of the 2016 Act was never enacted.

Thanks David , so you mean , we will be going against the tenant rights if we post Abandonment notices to them ?

There is a legally binding form of surrender known as “implied surrender” which basically means that the tenants actions are inconsistent with the continuation of the tenancy and it therefore ends “by operation of law”. The difficulty is always proving it and the Housing and Planning Act 2016 was supposed to overcome that by setting out a process by which a landlord could lawfully re-take possession. That section was never enacted, but I understand that courts tend to look sympathetically on cases where the landlord has followed it anyway.

Your problem is that the tenant has told you the tenancy is not over so it makes it much more difficult. We don’t know whether he recorded the conversation or has someone who would swear they witnessed it so its a risk. The only people who could tell you how much of a risk are good housing solicitors as they deal with these cases all the time. The two firms already mentioned are industry leading and should offer a free initial conversation.


Thanks so much David , that totally makes sense. I cant thank you enough for your valuable advise.

I would like to ask , can a landlord make an emergency entry after giving 24 hour notice ( reason is to look at the possible leak that is coming from the above flat and going down into the shop downstairs ) . We have passed a letter to them, under the door , informing them that if we do not hear back within 24 hours , we will have to make an entry to assess water damage .

Should we make the entry or not? and ignore the water leak ? it is damaging the whole property .

you can go in for an emergency, take an unrelated witness with you and video the leak . Keep a record of all you do

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Thanks so much Colin, that makes sense and will resolve the immediate issue. Thanks so much

You may want to take an independent person eg someone from the council. If you are accredited they are really helpful in these situations.
Before you go in still take legal advice as solicitors see everything from a different angle and advise how to deal with stuff that you may not think of so if you end up in court you did it all by the book.
This is a tricky situation and your tenants are playing poker with you and your investment.


Make sure you put the written notice of inspection through the door of the property 24hrs before you attend.

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Thanks so much A_A and David , all points taken on board. I appreciate all your advice, timely and on point. Bless you guys , cheers