Hi Vijay, Be very careful regarding taking possession if the tenant has left anything behind, unless you have their departure date agreed in writing.
I had a similar situation wherein a tenant agreed to move out as he couldn’t maintain his rent payments. On the agreed date (verbal) we went in and found a load of, in my opinion, junk, all his documents, valuable electronic equipment, decent clothing etc had been cleared out. So we bagged up the remaining items and moved them out to safe keeping. We left a note on the main door confirming how to contact us to recover the items removed and that he had abandoned the property.
We were then contacted by the local authority accusing us of illegal eviction, and had this miscreant made the effort to go into their offices to sign his complaint, they said they would definitely have prosecuted us. He had, in fact, moved out to his Uncles in another County, we know as we tracked him down to chase his debt, waste of time of course but made him uncomfortable and embarrassed in front of his family.
The police also phoned us, asking if we’d changed the locks. I replied not only the lock but the entire door, as we had already given notice to all tenants that we were upgrading the fire rating of their unit doors & frames to regulations as demanded by the HMO.
It’s a very difficult situation, as you obviously do not want to spend months obtaining an eviction order through the courts. We have taken a few chances wherein errant tenants have disappeared leaving debt and dilapidations and no keys returned. They only need to leave one item to claim they had not moved out. But, as we all know, you need to take a punt every now and then, as you will get no assistance from the police or local authorities, unless or until you obtain a warrant for possession.
Thankfully it sounds like you are facing a relatively small refurbishment bill, and should be covered by the bond, as you say he has paid up to date. I would call that a good result!