Tenant left property unoccupied - invalidating insurance

My tenant didn’t inform me that she was going to Sweden for an extended period. It turns out that even before lockdown, she was in breach of the Agreement as she had already been away for 20 days. Then during lockdown she was unable to come back, and I have just found out she has been away for 77 days! Which is invalidating much of my insurance. She says she plans to return as soon as lockdown is lifted, but there is no knowing when that will be. (There may not be flights until September, which is the time her tenancy ends.). She paid a full year’s rent in advance of the tenancy, so the rent is paid until September. A friend suggested I should move into the property until she returns (which is actually my home, not an investment property). This is an unprecedented situation. Does anyone know where I stand legally? I don’t want to evict her or have to return any rent payments. Am I legally entitled to move into the property? And then how much notice to move out? Because I would have to find a place to move to. (I am in an Airbnb at present - also stranded because of the virus.) Because of lockdown, I am unable to inspect the property - because of restrictions on movement, and because public transport where I’m staying has been suspended. So if I move there, I would probably have to take a taxi or hire a car. Would I be legally entitled to claim that expense from my tenant?

if she has occupancy till September you cannot move in, she has paid the rent. Many landlords would be very happy with that !!To get back home you want to claim the expense from her ? I feel you would be laughed at . >Be happy the rent is paid and take it from there, now if you agree with her that she gets the rent back then you could do so . that may be an option . but you cannot have your cake and eat it .


The problem is that my insurance is very restricted while my house is unoccupied.

Most of my insurance policy is invalidated.

I get that but we will all lose out in some way, If thats your only loss that is light compared to lives being lost

I have just read another post on here where tenants skipped the country owing rent. Some perspective might be needed here.

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Do you, Colin3 and Steve11, each own a home? Do you each have buildings and contents insurance for your home? Is it valid?

yes yes yes yes yes yes yes and yes. although I do my own repairs anyway.

So why do you think it’s fine that the insurance for my home - building and contents - is invalidated?

what is it rhat you think may happen to your place? have you told the insuance company that your tenant has been caught short in another country? they may still validate for an extra fee>

you wanted to know could you move in and when you did not get the answer you wanted you go on about insurance . Speak to the insurance company first

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It’s all about insurance. It’s about whether I should move in while my tenant is away to validate the insurance.

I guess I wasn’t crystal clear in my original post. It is entirely about having valid functioning insurance to protect my home.

i would ask the insuarance company, if you let them know they may well be accomodating. .Its when you dont tell them something you can come unstuck. But you cannot just move back in. without the tenant agreeing . I do appreciate you are in a tight corner ,but all of us are and we have to make do and mend.

The tenant has paid for the full year in advance. Skipping the country owing money is hardly an issue here.

I think what steve is saying is count your blessings while you can

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You appear to be in a bit of a pickle.

I have to agree with everything that Colin said though.

The only way you could legally move back into the property would be if you and the tenant agreed to end the tenancy. That would mean repaying rent, which you seem not to want to do.

As far as the insurance is concerned, so long as you don’t need to make a claim it is irrelevant. It is up to you if you want to risk that or has Colin suggests to inform your insurer and pay any additional fees needed.


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Have you actually spoken to your insurer specifically about this ? You might be pleasantly surprised in these “unprecedented” circumstances.

I contacted a landlord legal adviceline. I was advised that there were 3 options. 1). To see if the Insurance company would be willing to amend the wording of the policy. However, the insurance company said they weren’t able to speak to me directly - that I had to speak to the broker. Since I had already contacted the broker & got nowhere, the insurance company will contact the broker, & I’ll find out if there’s any change, 2). To move into the property while the tenant is away. 3). To cancel the existing insurance policy and to take out insurance that would cover an unoccupied property. He suggested I put these 3 options to the tenant, but I’m inclined to choose the third. It is apparently the tenant’s responsibiity if I have to take out other insurance. I’m not sure I’m going to worry about that. I may give her the option of making a contribution if it is a lot more expensive. But - as my cousin said - it’s a small price to pay to have peace of mind.


good man you are doing the right thing