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Question

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

Tenant’s numbers disconnected and S21

22 Jun 2021 | 2 comments

I issued S21 to the tenant expiring on the last day of our tenancy agreement. It had 6 months’ notice in line with COVID legislation. That date is 4 months from now.

I was now trying to arrange access for a gas safety inspection but am struggling to reach the tenant. He told me a few weeks ago that he did not want to talk about the inspection that week but ‘I can do what I want the week after’. Now all of his numbers appear disconnected and his estranged friend that we were able to reach said that the tenant may be abroad (based on their social media). I was not notified that he was going abroad. I am assuming he is planning to return but am unsure (as he went back to the country that he is from).

I am now unsure what I do now:

  • does the tenancy end at the end of S21 if I am unable to contact the tenant until then or will I need to get a court order?
  • what is the protocol for me to enter the property legally for gas safety inspection or for a general check?

Answer

2 Comments

  1. guildy

    No, the tenancy doesn’t end upon expiry of the section 21. It simply allows the landlord to continue and request a court order.

    You have asked the right question though in respect of whether the tenancy continues namely: is there an intention to return?

    From what’s described, it should be assumed there’s an intention to return within a reasonable period because there’s no evidence to the contrary. If the tenant returned the keys for example, that would show no intention to return and you could accept those keys as being the end of the tenancy. Until you’re sure there’s no intention to return, you would need a court order.

    To do a gas safety or other inspection you just need to give at least 24 hours notice in writing. Although email might be acceptable, it’s possible the tenant won’t see email if it goes into spam. Therefore, when entering a property, a normal letter should be delivered (in addition to an email if wish).

    There’s no need to get consent to enter so you can just say attending on x date at x time. If the tenant contacts to say no then you can’t go in but otherwise, you will have given the required notice.

    We have inspection templates here.

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