Support for Kent Landlords

Is your rental property going to be empty this Christmas?

With the pandemic potentially affecting everyone’s travel plans it’s important tenants have suitable arrangements in place before they leave a property empty.
a christmas tree on top of a camper van

Whatever your circumstances or beliefs, the festive season affects us all and one of the things that is on pretty much every to do list during the Christmas season is “spend time with people who are important”.

Whether it’s friends or family, many of us spend Christmas away from home, sleeping in spare rooms, on sofas or floors in an effort to spend 25 December in good company. And after 2020’s last-minute change to everyone’s Christmas plans, it’s likely many people – including your tenants – are planning to get to their destination before any restrictions may be introduced.

Planning ahead is very sensible for any journey, but do your tenants realise they could be in breach of contract if they are away for a long time? For instance, if they end up locked down or isolating away from home.

It’s generally fine for a rental property to be left empty for a week, possibly more, but if there is any doubt about when your tenants might return it’s advisable both parties check their paperwork.

When writing the agreement, did you stipulate a maximum amount of time the property may be left empty? Some buildings – and contents – insurance limits the amount of time a property can be empty and still be eligible for a pay out, so as a landlord you may wish to check what this means for you and make sure your tenants understand.

Once you know the situation regarding holiday absence, you should be able to reach a satisfactory agreement to ensure the home is monitored and no one is in breach of contract. This is about more than simply watering the plants, no one wants to return home from a Christmas break to find a pipe burst a week or so ago. (To avoid this, make sure they leave the heating on, but perhaps at a slightly lower temperature to reduce costs.)

So whatever amount of time you plan to be away for, with the pandemic potentially affecting everyone’s travel plans at any given time it’s important you know your limits and have suitable arrangements in place before you go.


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