Holiday lets

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    Holiday lets

    Can i please ask some advice on determining what constitutes a holiday let. I work for an advice agency in London and we are having quite a few lets coming through that appear to be holiday lets (therefore excluded occupants).

    One i am looking at the moment states a two month letting for the purpos of a holiday. It states this on the contract he signed. I realise that the occupant is not actually on holiday but he agreed to a short term let as it suited him.

    He is now being asked to leave and the landlord says he can evict without a PO as it is a short term/holiday let.

    Is there any case law on this? What needs to be taken into account to make a detrmination on this?

    Thank you in advance for any advice.

    #2
    To quote the great Lord Templeman. in Street v Mountford
    If the agreement satisfied all the requirements of a tenancy, then the agreement produced a tenancy and the parties cannot alter the effect of the agreement by insisting that they only created a licence. The manufacture of a five pronged implement for manual digging results in a fork even if the manufacturer, unfamiliar with the English language, insists that he intended to make and has made a spade.
    The case law I am aware of includes...
    R v Rent Officer for Camden LBC ex p Plant, 1980:
    Holiday let agreement did not reflect reality of situation and tenancy protected
    &
    Buchmann v May, 1978:
    Courts should be ‘astute to detect a sham’ but for tenant to establish this

    If this is not a Holiday let and the landlord knew (or should have known..) fine well then it is actually an AST, regardless of what the paperwork says: However there is nothing to stop a genuine holiday-maker taking out a holiday let for 2, 3, 9 months: Indeed London I suspect has many such genuine holiday lets

    The process I think is thus...
    a) Tenant stays put: Landlord shouts & screams: Landlord can take tenant to court, tenant may win if judge decides it was AST not "Holiday Let".
    b) Tenant stays put: Landlord shouts & screams: Landlord decides to change locks & chuck tenant's stuff out... Then you/tenant call Police over illegal eviction (could go either way..) and/or sue (criminal & civil) for harassment & illegal eviction (could go either way).

    Suspect the key question is, what did the landlord/agent know about tenants real plans when "holiday let" signed...
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      "I realise that the occupant is not actually on holiday but he agreed to a short term let as it suited him."

      The words "not actually on holiday" say it all if the realisation preceded the letting.

      Amongst the lettings which cannot be an assured tenancy is "a tenancy the purpose of which is to confer on the tenant the right to occupy the dwelling-house for a holiday". The letting has to be for a genuine holiday. If the landlord knows the letting is not for a holiday then saying it is for a holiday will not work. If the tenant represents that he is taking the property for a holiday then the landlord is entitled to take the representation at face value so long as there is nothing to arouse his suspicion. If the property is advertised as a holiday let the landlord is on pretty safe ground. However, if the property is being offered on other terms and someone wants it for a holiday longer than the average holiday, the landlord is, I suggest, put on enquiry as to the proposed tenant's true intentions.

      Comment


        #4
        It can be a holiday only if the person hiring the holiday let has his/her main residence elsewhere I would have thought. Surely producing that kind of proof should satisfy a court that it is a holiday let? However not being able to produce it could lead to problems....
        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

        Comment


          #5
          The landlord has a practical problem.
          If he asks the tenant to leave and the tenant does, everything is fine.

          If he asks the tenant to leave and the tenant doesn't go, the landlord has two options, he goes through a proper repossession route or he tries to just throw the "tenant" out.
          If he does the former, the court hearing might stop the process as its a holiday let (which would legitimise the subsequent eviction).
          If he does the latter and the tenant accuses the landlord of illegal eviction, the landlord runs a risk of being found guilty if the holiday let turns out to be an AST.
          That's a lot of ifs - and the tenant is still homeless as a start point.
          So it's the landlord's call, there's not much the tenant can do except draw the landlord's attention to the problems he might face.

          If the landlord is asking the tenant to leave before two months have elapsed, he's in breach of contract either way.

          The legal issues are less important than the practical ones.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
            It can be a holiday only if the person hiring the holiday let has his/her main residence elsewhere I would have thought. Surely producing that kind of proof should satisfy a court that it is a holiday let? However not being able to produce it could lead to problems....
            Simply showing you live elsewhere is not going to be enough. It is the case for most ASTs.

            Comment


              #7
              I can't see that.

              The most common stat I see is that private rental homes 9m people (maybe 10m).
              Are you suggesting that more than 5m of them have another "main" residence?
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                nope, saying that de facto someone in a holiday let is on holiday generally speaking ie they have another home to return to. Evidence of this fact would help to persuade a court that it was a holiday let...whether other renters also have other main residences is not the point I am making.
                Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you for your replies.

                  It's a problematic area in my opinion.

                  London is a transient city and how literal does the interpretation of a "holiday" have to be? I mean there is no real recent guidance?

                  Lawcruncher you say that if the landlord advertises the property as a holiday let he is probably on safe ground. Does issuing a contract with holiday let on it constitute advertsising?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    A holiday is a holiday - in the normal meaning of the word.
                    If the tenant is going to work everyday from the property, for example, they're not on holiday.

                    In a recent (tax) case, the landlord of a holiday let was differentiated from a property investor because they provided services "over and above those needed for the bare upkeep of the property as an investment such as clean bedclothes, hot water, heating, television, telephone, furnishings, regular cleaning and replenishment of supplies as well as the operation involving a level of activity that goes above and beyond that required for the management of an investment, for example, actively advertising for holiday lettings and finding new occupants."

                    Issuing a contract with Holiday Let on it is probably not advertising.
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have some contractors who rent rooms in a HMO. They only want to rent the rooms for short periods from one week onwards. I provide them with a TA that states it is a short term let for a week. They then renew the tenancy each week and pay in advance. They might stay for months but they don;'t know when they will be posted to another job in another part of the country.

                      I explained this to my insurance people who say it is a holiday let even though they are not on holiday. They then charged me over twice the amount of insurance. I don't advertise as holiday lets - this would mean that somebody is likely to be in all day with the heating on so the rent would be a whole lot more and it would price one room's renting off the market.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
                        I explained this to my insurance people who say it is a holiday let even though they are not on holiday.
                        That is nor even wrong. Either they are ignorant or they just wanted to increase the premium.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Lawcruncher: thanks for that, what kind of insurance do I need? HMO insurance? They're definitly not on holiday.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The main thing is that insurers know exactly what is going on. Hiding anything from them or misleading them, even innocently, will lead to the insurance being void.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I've always been honest with the insurers. What I'm concerned about is that if I need to claim they'll say it wasn't a holiday let and won't pay up. With a holiday let I think the insurance will be more because people are likely to be inthe property for more time, be in a 'holiday' mood - ie more likely to get drunk and cause an accident, and cause more wear and tear. So the insurance would be higher than for working people who just need a room to sleep in and a table to eat at then go to bed and get up and g to work.

                              I don't want to pay more insurance than I need to - it's nearly 3 times as much for Holiday lets as it is for HMO.

                              Comment

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