This article has been written in response to a tenant’s query: “I’m going on holiday – do I need to tell my landlord?”
As Christmas and the new year festivities end, the decorations are stuffed into a box and our minds turn to holidays led there by the wonderful tempting adverts on the television. You may think you have ticked all the boxes when sorting where, when and how to get away. But do you need to tell your landlord/agent if you’re leaving the property empty for a longer period of time than normal?
It is likely that your tenancy agreement contains a clause outlining your responsibilities as tenant when leaving your rental property empty. The clause should explain the circumstances in which you need to tell your landlord/letting agent – for instance, how many days it can be left empty before the landlord/agent must be informed.
Most insurance policies will set out instructions for periods of absence and failure to comply with these may invalidate the insurance for the property. It is therefore important that you liaise with the landlord or the party managing the property to make sure you comply with the tenant’s responsibilities for empty periods – making sure these reflect with any insurance policies held on the property. Tenants of course must make sure they comply with these – if the insurance policy is invalidated, tenants may be held responsible themselves for any loss or damage if they fail to update the landlord.
If you do not have a clause concerning absences in your tenancy agreement, it is still best practice to keep your landlord/agent informed for both security and maintenance purposes. This would allow for appropriate checks to be done, in your absence, to alert the landlord/agent to any maintenance issues that may have occurred. This will allow them to act on these issues to prevent any further damage being caused.
Above all remember that if you don’t tell your landlord that you are away from the property and during that time there is damage from problems such as leaks or burst pipes, your landlord could seek to make deductions from your tenancy deposit to cover any additional loss they may have suffered. This would be if there are the appropriate clauses listed, best to read your tenancy agreement and make sure any communications are in written from so you have a record.
I’m thinking of having a party in my rental property and wish to invite my friends and relatives. is this ok?
If you’re gathering at home to celebrate a special day in your rental property, it may be worth considering these points. Before inviting guests over, you should remember that the tenant remains responsible for maintaining the rental property – which means they are responsible for damage caused by friends, family and guests. Why not consider asking guests to remove their shoes to protect the carpets from muddy footprints or damage to wooden/laminate flooring from high heeled shoes? Communicate with your landlord and neighbours to head off any issues. Remember the obligations of your tenancy agreement and the that your tenancy deposit may be at risk if you create damage, dirt or decorative nightmares where the landlord considers they have suffered a loss.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.
We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.
TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.
TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.
TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.
TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.
These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.