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what are my rights?

LANDLORD FORUMCategory: Lettingwhat are my rights?
what are my rights? 1Ishaani asked 3 months ago

15 days after our tenants handed in a notice over a phone call, they left the country and left the keys with a neighbour whom we haven\’t met before. We found out about this arranement when we rang the tenants about 36-40hrs before they left the country to enquire about their last day in the property, there was no communication from the tenants themselves until we rang them on our own. They also said there are still some of their belongings in the house and the neighbour would clear those from the house. At that time, we didnt think much about any complications that may arise at a later date due to a third party being involved. There were two different leaks in the property during the tenancy, these were fixed temporarily a while ago when the tenants were still at the property, one of these leaks was not brought to our notice for a few months so there was a considerable amount of damage to the roof of the room underneath.After the tenants left the country, they were concerned about tradesmen entering the property and causing any damages which we respected and have only accompanied an estate agent twice to evaluate the property after obtaining consent from the tenants. During these two trips, my husband knocked on the so called authorised neighbour\’s door to discuss keys, removals etc however the person has been extremely unfriendly for no obvious reason and it was difficult to even have a decent conversation with him. Him being a neighbour, my husband casually knocked on the man\’s door on both the occasions however the response was rude and awkward both the times and it felt like he hates us extremely for no reason. While we didn\’t enter the property we own without the tenant\’s consent, the neighbour had free access to our property and we were not notified prior to him entering our property at any time. We have dropped an email to the tenants explaining how difficult it has been to us to coordinate with this person and we are concerned that he has access to the property while neither tenants nor owners are present. There was no response to our email from the tenants however despite us raising a concern about him accessing the property, removals were carried out the next day by that person.At this point, all the belongings were removed and tenancy completion day was 6 days away so we have rang the tenant and explained we have to let people in to assess the damagesangive the quotes first so that we can line them up to do the works at a later date so we would like to take the responsibility of the property from that particular day and complete inventory check once the keys are handed over to us by the neighbour. The tenant responded in a threatening way saying he is not sure what damages we have caused during our visits to the property and he went on about how his parents are lawyers and hence he will bring us down even if he has to spend a billion pounds. He also mentioned it is not his problem that we picked up a fight with the person whom he nominated. No one has witnessed the conversation between my husband and the neighbour therefore there is no easy way for us to determine who started the argument and what it was all about.Just because we didn\’t say no at the beginning when a third party has been involved, have we lost the right to raise a concern after we have actually approached him and find it difficult to coordinate with?Considering the tenant left the country, house was unoccupied, have we committed a mistake by asking for the handover of the house 6 days before the tenancy end date?Because the tenant left the country prior to the end of the tenancy date, what sort of rights do I have on the property as a landlord?There was no way for us to arrange for the viewings or let the tradesmen in even to get the quotes for the jobs as the tenants were not present at the property. What is the landlord expected to do in this situation? Not everyone can afford to keep the house vacant just because the tenants are not at the property.

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