Landlords Legal Issues – Tenants of a Commercial Property Dissapear!

For most buy to let investors, renting out property is pain free and simple. However, for a few, there are plenty of things that can go wrong, such as bad debt tenants and damage to your own property or the fabric of the building.

Here is one such example relating to business premises which was on a yearly lease. Initially the tenants paid a deposit, signed a contract and spent time renovating the property for their own business.

Then, quite suddenly, they disappeared, stopped paying bills, became un-contactable and left no forwarding details.
Upon examination, the boiler was missing from the property and subsequent flood damage affected neighbouring businesses too.

The landlord did not even have keys to enter the property and had never organised insurance for the building either.

Clearly in this example, this was a key mistake. If the landlord had insured the property then the theft of the boiler and the subsequent water damage would have been insured.
Without that protection, what can be done?

The law to reclaim property that you own but have leased is complex and often requires the support of proper legal advice. Whether access can be legally granted would largely be determined by the wording of that contract.

However, generally landlords can access their property and in this case as it has been abandoned it is essential to do it quickly to minimise the landlord’s exposure to third party claims against water damage. A locksmith would need to be contacted to access the property immediately.