Ask Lorraine – My tenant may be going to prison, can I get my Tamworth property back if he does?

🙋  Landlord’s Question: 

“Dear Lorraine

I recently found out that my tenant may be going to prison, I won’t go into details as I’m not the kind of person who likes to tittle tattle.

I would like to know where I stand should he be sent to prison. Will the authorities continue to pay his rent, if not can I take the property back?

Thank you Xiang”

Sentenced
Lorraines Answer:

 

 

Xiang,

As a landlord, you will have many matters to deal with over time and dealing with a tenant who has been sent to prison could be one of them.

I’m afraid the tenancy does not end should the tenant be imprisoned and you would need to follow strict guidelines should you wish to end it. If the tenants possessions are left in the property, you would have to apply for a court order.  Should the tenancy be within the fixed term, you would be unable to serve a Section 21 Notice.

If there are rent arrears of 2 or more months, you could  apply for a possession order using the rent arrears ground. The Eviction Notice would have to be served on the tenant whilst in prison, you will find that if you notify the authorities they will probably serve the notice on your behalf.

You could ask the tenant if he would voluntary surrender the tenancy in return for you agreeing to right off any rent arrears. If the tenant was to be in agreement, the surrender of tenancy should be completed formally to ensure there was no question of any wrong doing on your part.  if you are a member of a landlord organisation, they may have a ” voluntary surrender of tenancy” form that you could download and use.

If the tenant does not agree to your suggestion and rent is owed, you should get an eviction order.  I personally think the possibility of recovering any of the rent arrears is the much like seeing a flying pig so I would recommend going for the eviction order as soon as possible.

Until next time.

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