If a landlord takes possession when it seems evident that the tenant has abandoned the property, there is a risk that the tenant may then claim unlawful eviction. The landlord could be prosecuted and face a civil damages claim from the tenant. Therefore, the safe option is to obtain an order from the court giving the landlord possession. As detailed earlier, evicting a tenant without a court order is a criminal offence (with very few exceptions).
What rights do landlords have when a tenant appears to have left a buy-to-let home before the tenancy agreement has ended?
It's so important to be careful when considering abandonment because although it may seem that a tenant isn't occupying, it may be the case that only the tenancy ceases to be an assured shorthold tenancy (because it may no longer be the principal home), it does not necessarily stop to be a tenancy
Where a tenant abandons a property, sometimes belongings are left at the property. The landlord must take care, and the tenant should be traced to impose collection of goods.