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What is an abandonment notice and what service do No Letting Go provide?
If a tenant in your property is expected to have abandoned the residence, either the landlord or letting agent will need to place a notice of abandonment at the rental property. The abandonment notice must be displayed at the property and it is vital that someone attends the property on a regular basis to ensure the notice is still on display. No Letting Go can offer this service and provide not only evidence of the notice being in place, but also as an independent witness to help with the abandonment process.
What is considered as property abandonment?
It is required that tenants inform their letting agent or landlord if they plan to leave their rented property for a period exceeding 2 weeks; this clause is generally included in all tenancy agreements. However, in some instances it may become apparent that tenants have abandoned the property, usually after a period of not paying rent. However, Landlord and property professionals alike must proceed cautiously under these circumstances, as under the Protection from eviction Act 1977, the tenant is entitled to return to the property withing the tenancy period. Should a tenant suspected of abandonment return in the period to find the property let to new tenants, the landlord could be charged with a criminal offence. It is therefore essential that it is certain that the property has been permanently vacant and surrendered before re-letting the property; this can be evidence through the proper application of serving an abandonment notice.
Problems arising for landlords when properties are abandoned
Loss of rental income
The most obvious problem arising from abandonment is the loss of income from the non-payment of rent. Therefore, it is important to make sure an abandonment process is enacted in a professional and timely manor to reduce increasing loses.
Risk of vandalism and lack of security at the abandoned property
The longer a property is left abandoned, the more obvious this becomes to undesirables. Often, the knowledge that a property is occupied can be the biggest deterrent to criminals.
Unoccupied properties can also draw the attention of squatters causing a whole new host of problems for landlords.
Abandoned properties can result in higher insurance premiums
Many insurance companies become void if properties are left vacant for a certain period. As a result premiums can be eye watering for the time a property is left vacant.
If tenants leave possessions behind, these become the responsibility of the landlord to safeguard
During the period of the tenancy, the tenant’s possessions left behind after abandonment are still the landlord responsibility to safeguard. This is not only burdensome but can also be costly to put into storage.
The responsibilities of Landlord & Letting agents
It is down to both landlords and letting agents to ensure that any evictions being made are not unlawful. Before re-letting or changing lock you must be certain that the property has been surrendered. The first point of call is of course the tenant, recording all contact and attempting to receive written conformation of abandonment. Should you fail to make contract other avenues for evidencing abandonment are:
- Rent has stopped being payed.
- Belongings have been removed from the property.
- Keys have been left at the property.
- Neighbours have not seen the tenant for a long period of time.
Housing and Planning Act 2016
If you can ensure that your property has been abandoned, and your tenant is in rent arrears you are now able to take back possession of your property under the Housing and planning Act 2016.