Posted on: 30 April 2018Share
When landlords are in the unfortunate situation of having to evict their tenants, due and proper legal processes must be put in place. Going it alone without the backing of a court order risks landing yourself in hot legal water. In fact, if the proper processes are followed to the letter of the law, then most tenants—whether they are commercial of residential—will have departed from your property ahead of the eviction date.
Having said that, you must not assume that a repossessed property won't be accessed again by your former tenants at some point. Perhaps they have left items they want to retrieve or they simply want to make life difficult for you. Whatever the reasons for attempting to get back into your property once it has been legally repossessed, you should take measures to prevent it.
Restrict Doors Access
Unwarranted access into your home—even when the tenants have been evicted—causes a problem for any new tenants you might be showing the property to. It can also get in the way of so-called void works that you are attempting to update and refurbish your property in readiness to let it again. Most unwarranted access by former tenants comes about because they have kept hold of the door keys. Even if they hand them back to you, copies may have been made. In all cases of eviction, it is imperative that landlords change their locks. Remember that any door that can afford access to your property needs to have the locks changed professionally, ideally by a qualified locksmith.
Restrict Window Access
Ensure that all of the windows in a repossessed property are shut and locked. Most windows can only be unlocked from the inside, so there is no need to change these locks unless they have been damaged in some way by the former tenants. Check all of the window and patio door locks in your property and if you have any doubt about their viability, then ask for an inspection from your local locksmith's firm. If you have workmen come into the property to carry out refurbishments works, then they will often open the windows to allow fresh air in. Impress upon anyone who is carrying out works in a property you have repossessed that they must close and lock any windows that they have opened during the day when they leave.
Address Insecure Properties
If you cannot prevent access to your property, for example, if the door has been smashed in, then place a written notice on it to say that the property has been repossessed and that unwarranted access will, therefore, be illegal. This will make the position much clearer for the police if you need to call them to your property because people have entered it before you have been able to make it secure once more.