What to do if your tenant leaves without notice

What to do if your tenant leaves without notice

We understand that a tenant leaving without notice can be very stressful for a landlord. Rent arrears; the condition of the property; how to formally end the tenancy; and how to re-let it promptly will all be a concern. This situation recently happened at one of our fully managed properties, and the landlord was able to rely on our experience and expertise.

Step 1: Ensure the tenant understands their obligations
The team in our Banbury office arrived to work one morning recently to find the keys to a property posted through the door with a note from the tenant stating that they had vacated the property. Senior Property Manager, Gemma, wanted to get the complete picture before speaking with the landlord, so she emailed the tenant to advise them in writing that they cannot break their tenancy agreement simply by handing the keys back and that she would inspect the property before speaking with the landlord and advising next steps.

Step 2: Assess the extent of the problem
The tenant had been in the property for nearly four years before they vacated without warning. It needed professional cleaning and light redecoration in areas, and they had left some furniture. After visiting the property, Gemma phoned the landlord to update them on the tenant’s situation, report on the property's condition, and discuss the next steps.

Step 3: Propose a solution
We advised that the best option, in this case, would be to allow the tenants to break the contract - retaining their deposit to cover cleaning costs and missed rent - rather than holding them to the contract but potentially having to go to court to evict them in the future. Having been a Finders Keepers client for a few years, the landlord felt confident in following our advice and ability to re-let the property. Gemma contacted the tenant to let them know the landlord’s decision and obtained their agreement in writing before progressing with getting the property back up to standard.

Step 4: Find a new tenant
Being based in the same office made it easy for Gemma to liaise with the letting team about finding a new tenant. A few days later, Senior Letting Specialist Luke was working with a previous Finders Keepers tenant searching on their parents’ behalf. This property matched their requirements, so he booked a viewing for the following week. They loved the property and applied the next day.

The Result

  • Day 1: We assessed the property and negotiated the tenancy end between the landlord and tenant
  • Day 2: Contractors were booked to bring the property back up to market standard
  • Day 8: A viewing was booked and a let was agreed off-market
  • Day 19: The new tenants moved in
Could you benefit from our management service? We have offices across Oxfordshire with Property Managers you can rely on, call 01865 302302.

Published May 2023