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Rental Flat Landlord Lock out... advise on what to do now
edited 25 January at 2:38AM in House buying, renting & selling
23 replies 1.6K views
Welcome some advice from the group for a friend who is a tenant and has been through it lately. The details in summary...
- The friend has been renting for about 5 years from a private landlord (LL)
- LL permitted subletting and they have happily done so for that period and looked after the flat whilst living there
- All rent has been paid on time and no issues with flat condition
- They knew each other through friends, thus a standard AST document was created between them
- But the AST was not signed by either and has just been periodic now for some years
- LL wanted to sell the flat and asked for flat back early at the end of 2021
- Tenant said that would need time to hand back at a later date
- There was disagreement and a LL agent attempted to remove the tenant in Jan 2022
- Eventually a date of end of Nov 2022 was provided to the LL via an email sent by the tenant
- Closer to the time the tenant called the LL and asked for an extension to the end of Nov 2022 date
- A couple of weeks was agreed as rent was paid until 17 Dec 2022 in anycase
- (There was no evidence of this telephone conversation)
- Suddenly around 28 Nov 2022 the LL requested the flat back on 30 Nov 2022 and cited the tenant previous email
- Around 1 Dec 2022 tenant left for an appointment – came back to the flat and was locked out by the LL
- LL is based in a different region so they probably got an agent to do this
- They received an email from the LL on that day thanking them for the flat, saying there were no issues with its condition, the excess rent to 17 Dec 22 has sent back to them and Goodbye!
- Tenant was locked out with their goods stuck within the flat
- No Section 21 or any other notices were issued by the LL to the tenant ever
- Any tenant calls to the LL via are being ignored
- The Tenant contacted Local Council Private Sector Enforcement that issued a warning letter to the LL
- LL told the council they refused to re-instate
- The council told the tenant they cannot force a LL re-instatement
- A month passes and nothing was done with the council despite the tenant trying
- Eventually the tenant got fed up, called the police to let them know they are re-entering and went back into the flat using a locksmith
- No damage was done and locks were changed
- The flat was empty and left in the same condition as before – they are checking if any items have been taken
They think the flat is being sold at this time and is going through the process although they are not sure.
They want to know what they should do now? They have stayed with local friends whilst getting back in - and not sure if they can formally move back in? Who they should notify? How and what their rights are at this time? - or if they are in trouble?
Could do with some advise of their current legal position quickly and what they should do as I am not an expert in this area.
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