Do Landlords Need To Tell Their Tenants They’re Going On Holiday?

Landlord on holiday

Since I fully manage my own rental properties, it ultimately means I’m the first line of defense and the first port of call (cannon fodder, really) if anything goes tits up with a property, whether it be plumbing issues, electrical breakdown, or noisy neighbours (the latter not being my responsibility, but you can bet your left bollock on the fact that I’ll be the one expected to find a solution). I guess that’s the trade-off for giving my local high-street letting agent the big F.U!

So the question begs to be asked, should I inform my tenants when I go on holiday? Am I entitled to go off grid without notice?

I guess this is a subjective issue, and every self-managing landlord will make their own decision. Obviously, the landlords that live the good life and have the stomach and finances to splash out on life’s luxuries – eye-watering fully managed services – aren’t burdened with these concerns like us mere mortals. Ahh, how the other half live.

Of course, this blog post isn’t being published today by coincidence. I’m scheduled to jet off in a few days, so I thought I would quickly run through my pre-holiday protocol and the thought process behind it.

Ultimately, it boils down to one basic factor – availability! If I’ll be available as normal despite the fact I may be on the other side of the world, then I don’t tend to inform my tenants of my scheduled holidays. Because the reality is, they’ll be none the wiser anyways. However, if I know there’s a chance I’ll be off grid (i.e. out of contact due to poor signal during a safari in the Serengeti), then I’ll notify them and provide them with a temporary point of contact (usually my poor ol’ mum).

Being a landlord is a full time job; we should be easily accessible to our tenants. So that’s why it’s important for our tenants to always have a line of communication to someone that is able to make decisions and resolve problems! But this isn’t to only benefit the tenant, but it’s also critical for landlords to address serious issues immediately (e.g. burst pipes and leaks).

Are there any legal requirements to notify tenants of scheduled holidays?

Nah, not that I’m aware of.

However, I do want remind you that under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, landlords are legally required keep the structure and exterior of the property in good repair, including drains, gutters and external pipes, and supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation etc. at all times. Unfortunately, a holiday won’t excuse you from that vital responsibility.

Holiday Checklist

In the event that I need to inform my tenants I’ll be off grid, I simply do the following:

  1. Notify my tenants
    First and foremost, I notify my tenants 7 days in advance that I’ll be unavailable, and provide them with the exact dates. I usually send them an email and get them to confirm receipt.
  2. Arrange emergency contact
    Provide my tenants with a temporary point of contact during my absence. As mentioned, it’s usually my mum. She’s reliable, sensible, and too boring to be unavailable. She’s the perfect person for the job.
  3. Inform emergency contact
    I’ll ensure my temporary point of contact has all the necessary information they need, including the contact number for my plumber and any relevant insurance providers.

That pretty much sums it up. Easy!

So, as a landlord, what do you do when you go on holiday? Do you make any provisions?

Right, so I’ll be back in 10 days, chaps.

If all goes according to plan, I’ll be back in one piece and as clean as a whistle!

7 Join the Conversation...

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YesAdam 1st May, 2011 @ 22:40

Landlords should have a separate contact number for their Lettings Business. Leave it with a trusted person, or , what I prefer is using a number (skype) where you can forward it.

Any other reason you send them an letter, letting them know, if contact number remains the same?

Letting Agents can give landlords temporary ease of mind for longer holidays or emergency contact in other cases.

The main tip is to schedule holiday in-between rental pay days. It may confuse tenants or give them excuse to mess around your substitute landlord otherwise.

1
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cardifflandlord 3rd May, 2011 @ 10:15

Have a good 'un pal - dont forget COYOTE UGLY at New York New York! You will thank me.

BTW - I thought you were in Vegas recently?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 10th May, 2011 @ 23:38

Hi all,

I'm back, and I'm feeling the holiday blues. Back to reality. Urgh!!

YesAdam: Good tip about scheduling holiday in-between rental pay days. But I'm assuming that only applies if the tenant pays cash direct to the landlord. In any other case (e.g. standing order) it shouldn't make any difference.

cardifflandlord: Ot-oh! You're not going to be impressed! I walked past Coyote Ugly about 20 times, but never actually went in there! Each time I thought of you though! I got a picture of the place, if that helps!

Last time I was in Vegas was last summer! I want to go back again this summer!

3
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landlord andy 18th July, 2011 @ 09:35

I am not sure that your notification to tenants is a good thing. You are basically saying 'hey, i am not at home for a week or two, feel free to break in or tell a few of your scum mates to take over the place', your tenants have your home details as a landlord unless you work from a remote office? My advice would be to leave your emergency contact details on voice mail message and thus they get to know on a need to know basis. Your emergency contact can have all of your hotel details and service providers etc so you should not need to do anything else.

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Jody 29th January, 2014 @ 19:12

If a landlord does not provide these details to the tenant prior to the holiday, is that considered illegal?

What are the rules to do this?

As I have been trying to get through to my landlord for about a month now, and apparently he is on holiday according to his wife. I have received no replies to my messages and calls.

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Tracey 22nd August, 2014 @ 12:42

We were planning to move out during the summer holidays in order to take up new employment in a different area and have to sort out schools for the children (the education authority will not consider a new address until we have physically moved in). My landlord knew this. She has gone on holiday for a month and, despite trying to contact her (I need a reference to move into new accommodation) I have only had two short, unhelpful text messages. I have stressed that a delay in moving will jeopardise my daughter's school place but she has completely ignored me. Is this acceptable behaviour? what would happen if there was an issue with the property? She has left no alternative contact. I feel so angry and frustrated.

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Tracey 22nd August, 2014 @ 12:44

Landlord Andy, Why, because I am a tenant do you assume that my 'mates' are scumbags? I am a teacher and most of my friends are professionals.

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