In this article
• The importance of good communication with your landlord
• Reasons you may not be in your property for a length of time
• How to negotiate to prevent eviction
It is important that you maintain good communication with your landlord and/or their letting agent if you are not going to be in the property for a length of time. Some tenants may feel this is an invasion of their privacy, or that the landlord is ‘keeping tabs’ on them, but if you do not provide information such as this, your landlord may be unnecessarily concerned for their property or jump to the wrong conclusions.
If it appears you have not been living in the property, your landlord may think you have left the property and take steps to end your tenancy. Landlords want their properties occupied and unattended properties can fall into disrepair.
Negotiating with the landlord
There are many legitimate reasons a tenant may not be in their home for a length of time, such as visiting relatives, being in hospital, taking care of a sick relative, going on holidays, or working away from home. Regardless of the reason you must continue to pay rent.
• Contact your landlord in writing and let them know that you want to stay in the property.
• You will need to demonstrate a genuine reason for being away from the property for the given length of time.
• Agree to inform your landlord directly if you will be away for more than two weeks in future.
• Assure your landlord that you will take necessary precautions to leave the property secure while you are gone (such as lock doors and windows, arrange a friend to collect mail or use a re-direction service, use timers on lights, turn water off at the mains and empty the boiler in winter).
Where to go for help
If your landlord does not believe your reasons then they may use eviction proceedings to gain possession of their property. You may be able to use utility bills such as gas and electricity to prove that you are living in your home and halt proceedings.
For free advice contact Shelter: http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/eviction/about_eviction/preventing_eviction
This article is provided as a guide. Any information should be used for research purposes and not as the base for taking legal action. The Tenants' Voice does not provide legal advice and our content does not constitute a client-solicitor relationship.
We advise all tenants to act respectfully with their landlords and letting agents and seek a peaceful resolution to problems with their rented property. For more information, explore the articles in our All advice category.
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