Bogus abandonments


Under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 it is illegal to evict someone from a property without first obtaining a court order. However many landlords are unwilling to do this if it looks as if the tenant has gone as obtaining a court order can take months.

Some unscrupulous tenants have been known to take advantage of this by making it seem as if they have left the property, to entice the landlord into changing the locks.

Once this has been done, they will then make a claim for compensation for unlawful evictions. Unless the landlord is able to show that the conduct of the tenants was sufficient to allow them to reasonably assume that they had left, the landlords will be liable. Most of these tenants will be cunning and will leave just enough possessions in the property to make it feasible that they were intending to return.


Landlords - be very careful indeed about changing the locks and re-letting a property where the tenant appears to have gone but has left possessions in the property and has not returned the keys



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