Tenants say they can't move

I let my own house on a 7 month contract to go travelling. The tenants should be moving out on the 30th of this month but are telling me no estate agents are responding and they can’t therefore find anywhere to go until lockdown is lifted. I’m not sure if this is even true and they (having previously very friendly and communicative) will no longer take my calls. From 1st of May they will be out of contract. They are not short of money and I think will continue to pay the rent. Not sure what to do? Should I have a new rolling contract with them? I really need my house back, but obviously can’t force them to leave atm. Any suggestions gratefully received.

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there is no law saying you must not move. plenty of properties on openrent tell them


You can’t force them out.
You can ask them to move out if they can find a place to go to and are willing to do so, bearing in mind they are going from the known to the unknown and risking catching Covid19. Suggest looking at OpenRent as Colin suggested.
If plenty of room and you have no-where else to go, perhaps you can become their lodger, otherwise try to stay with a friend or relative when you return.
Do nothing with your contract: it automatically goes onto a one month rolling contract without any intervention from you, with all the conditions as before.
If their rent is high enough and you can find somewhere else to stay using it, do so.

Hi Claire, Im not sure what you mean by they will be out of contract as i would imagine the tenancy agreement to be a fixed term followed by rolling as if they were out of contract then they would of done a Check Out and handed the keys back.

Not sure why you think they are not short of money or what that has to do with anything?

Im not sure what you mean by “Should i have a new rolling contract with them?”

I strongly advise against doing what John suggested which is to become their tenant/lodger as your existing agreement should state that the property can not be sub-let to anyone and regardless to that it would get very, very messy if the existing tenants became vexatious at any stage or it more likely than not will end in tears.

Can i suggest making it clear as to what type of tenancy agreement you have to clarify if it rolls over after the fixed term so you can get a better response?

In any event i can confirm that one can move house on paper yet in actuality that will prove more difficult than normal as most people are on lockdown regardless to if they can legally still operate.

Please refer to the Government website which details exactly what one can and should do in your situation, the advise is pretty much dont move unless you really do need to yet they may not be able to get a viewing of anywhere in person as they are not allowed.

I hope this helps.

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Hi Andrew and thanks. I’ve come to realise that they can not move, or definitely will not so the AST will be periodic from the 30th April. I’m happy for them to stay for another 3 months. Would you suggest serving a section 21 (3 months notice) at the beginning of the periodic tenancy?


You can once the Covid19 crisis is over, but you cannot now by law.

It may take another six months before the law will allow you to raise a Sect 21 or 8 to remove them.

I anticipate Sect 21 will no longer be available next year, so hopefully things will improve before then to allow you to regain access to your home.

Claire have you had an open free conversation with the tenants as this may be an easier option for you to follow rather than the exact procedure as normal for instance just have a open chat asking what their intentions are what their plans are what they want to do and roughly let them know what your thoughts are and see if you can come to a mutual arrangement of vacation of the property and if this doesn’t work try and throw in a bit of incentive even if that is a bit of cash their way but whatever you do do not make it look like you’re desperate and only speak from a neutral present perspective not from the ego and you should be fine that is if the tenants are normal enough and reasonable enough to communicate with Phalia to all of this obviously will result in you needing to follow the legal process and issue in the correct section at the correct time but openly speaking you are bent over a barrel both morally and legally at the moment so you have to be somewhat subservient or tread lightly in your course of path if you know what I mean

Hi Claire, this plan seems sensible to me.

Sorry that you’re going through this stressful situation!


You aren’t likely to get the solution on here. You need to speak to an experienced solicitor straight away and get the ball rolling for repossession. Being your primary domicile gives you more rights. Don’t say anything more , no texts no chats , nothing until you know your rights. this will cost you money of course. Its your house, you need it and these are tenants with whom you have a business relationship. Stay professional , if things turn nasty you can have a lot of damage done and you can kiss goodbye any chance of recovering damages.

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You are correct Sydney that is the definitely the best advice I have seen today, clearly you Have live long enough to see enough as these things can really start to gather momentum such as a snowball rolling down a hill.

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