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Abandonment (England) | Ending a Tenancy (England) | England

Tenant gave vague notice to leave,now ‘ghosting’ me!

1 Feb 2022 | 3 comments

My tenant , now on a periodic tenancy,sent an email to say ‘ I have to give notice on your property’

In a couple of subsequent texts she said she was very flexible and happy to stay until a new tenant had been found, which of course I was happy with. Whilst conducting viewings it was clear the property has not been well looked after- dirty,stinks of dogs, garden a mess etc. I wasnt surprised when none of the prospective tenants wanted to live there. When I raised this with the tenant, she said she would arrange for carpets to be cleaned, some redecorating and curtains dry cleaned, and then her mum would have the dogs so as not to get things dirty again. In her last text she said she had fractured a bone, couldnt drive back to the house, but the furniture was out and her mum had cleaned. On visiting the house, I find most of her belongings gone, but a mattress and bbq left on the front garden, garden furniture and various other things left in the shed. No cleaning of carpets or anything else done. She is now not answering my calls or texts ( nor is her mum, the guarantor)
As she has not given me a definite date that she wants to end the tenancy, is she still liable for rent? Can I put new tenants in, or is the property technically still hers to use? Can I claim rent from the deposit?



  1. guildy

    This is tricky because really the original notice ought to have been rejected until notice was provided with a specific date being the day before a rent is due. Anyway, not to worry on that point now.

    It’s difficult to know from what’s described whether there’s an “intention to return” because the last message doesn’t make clear if the not returning is temporary due to the fractured bone or there was no intention to return after that.

    From the evidence that the property has been cleared, that would indicate they have gone, but unfortunately we can’t say with any certainty because we just don’t know.

    If you decide the tenancy is at an end, rent should stop from the point you entered to find everything cleared otherwise, you could say the tenancy still continues and continue to claim rent. But that latter option would mean requiring a possession order through the courts.

    Re-letting the property runs a risk (albeit small from what’s described) that the tenant claims they haven’t gone yet and so unlawful eviction without court order (but rent would be payable in that case, they can’t have it both ways).

    If you decide the tenancy is over, any losses including rent up to when they left can be claimed from the deposit.

  2. TMS2

    In this situation as notice has not been properly served, would the tenants still be liable until keys have been actually received by the landlord as until then the tenants are still in possession of the property?

  3. guildy

    It’s acceptable for a landlord to accept an invalid notice. Sometimes, though, it’s unclear whether an invalid notice has been accepted by subsequent discussions and actions.

    Please see this article which considers a few scenarios.

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