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New Document Templates for Off-Season Lettings of Holiday Properties

June 2014
Owning and letting out a holiday property can be a lucrative business, particularly in peak season. However, in some areas there is little or no demand for holiday rentals during low season.

Leaving properties vacant can be problematic: the landlord will receive no income and lack of use may cause the property to deteriorate or be vulnerable to break-ins. One option for landlords is to allow a tenant to occupy the property as their home under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) for some or all of the off peak season.

Our new AST – Holiday House Out of Season Letting and AST – Out of Season Letting for Holiday Flat have been created for this purpose. They are based on our standard AST templates but include specific clauses to meet the requirements of the Housing Act 1988 relating to off-season lettings of holiday properties.

The Housing Act makes special provision for off-season lettings. Whereas with a standard AST there is a minimum period of 6 months before the landlord can obtain possession, for an off-season letting of a holiday property there is no such minimum term.

As long as the tenancy agreement contains a notice advising the tenant that possession may be sought, the Landlord can obtain possession at any time by serving a Section 8 Notice. This only applies if the house was occupied under a holiday letting agreement at some time during the 12 month period leading up to the grant of the AST.

London Landlords should note that at present the letting of residential accommodation for fewer than 90 nights is a material change of use for which planning permission is required. This rule is set to be relaxed by the Deregulation Bill which, if passed, will allow the Secretary of State to disapply the rule in certain areas or for certain properties. There is no such restriction outside of London.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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