Advice for landlords when a notice has been served.

We have answered a series of your frequently asked questions to help clarify the dos and don’ts once a notice has been served.

Should I contact my tenant to ask if they are going to leave?

There is no reason for you to contact them as the notice will explain when the tenant must vacate by.

What will happen when the notice is due to expire?

A few days prior, we will contact you to discuss if any contact has been made by the tenant and what the current circumstances are. If the tenant hasn’t made contact or failed to vacate, we will discuss the court application options with you.

How will I know if my tenant has moved out?

If the tenant has returned the keys and advised you, a check out should be carried out and meter readings taken. You may meet with the tenant to collect keys and to sign the tenancy back.

What if my tenant ignores the notice?

It is quite common for the tenant to ignore receipt of the notice. There is no need for you to contact the tenant to remind them. The notice explains what the tenant must do.  The tenant will have the right to obtain their own legal advice, although the notice explains this.

Should the tenant continue to pay the rent?

Yes, the tenant is still obliged to pay the rent due.

The tenancy agreement has expired. Can I not just change the locks?

No. You may not just change the locks. Possession will only be granted through a court order or if the tenant vacates and surrenders the keys back to yourself. If you change the locks and you have not been granted a possession order through the courts, it would be classed as an illegal eviction and you can be prosecuted.

I think the tenant has vacated but I am not in receipt of the keys. What should I do?

Try and communicate with the tenant by text or email. Speak to the neighbours to ask if they have seen the tenant recently. This will hopefully give you an indication.  If you are still unsure, write to the tenant and explain that a visit will be made (Please provide at least 24 hours’ notice). If still no response, go the property. If you do have a key, access the property but if you suspect the tenant is still living there leave and contact us to make the application to court.

If my tenant is in rent arrears, and they want to pay, should I accept a payment?

Yes, you cannot refuse rental payments.