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.
In the event that I need to inform my tenants I’ll be off grid, I simply do the following:
- 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.
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.
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!
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.