Feefo logo
Get a Quote Renew an existing policy

How to Evict Holiday Home Squatters

Reading Time: 4 minutes

eviction notice

Holiday home owners dread the thought of undesirable guests, especially those who refuse to leave after their booking has ended. Squatters who target your holiday cottage whilst it’s empty can also harm your holiday letting business. Whether they intend to extort money or stay in your property for as long as possible, the expense and inconvenience caused can be stressful.

There have also been incidents where holiday homes have been rented for a few days and then the guest fraudulently sublets the property long term and disappears with the rental money. The duped renter is then unwilling to leave.

What rights do holiday home owners have to evict squatters? If you do find yourself in a squatting situation, here are some things you can do to reclaim your property.

How to evict squatters from your holiday home or Airbnb

Although dealing with squatters in your holiday home is distressing, you should never resort to violence or a threat of violence to remove squatters from your property. It’s important that owners take the correct course of action.

The good news is that the legal position for guests who have outstayed their welcome or squatters in short-term holiday lets is not as complex as it is for empty properties and longer-term lets.

If your property is let to holidaymakers on a short-term holiday let basis you have the right to move them out at the end of their rental period without going to court if they do not leave. Holiday lets are one of the few exceptions under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

You could also contact the police for help evicting the squatters, but they can be reluctant to act. An alternative is to hire a bailiff who will oversee the departure of the former guests, and attend with a locksmith to change the locks if necessary.

Check with your insurance to see if you’re covered

Unfortunately, there may be occasions when evicting overstaying guests or squatters isn’t a simple process. Holiday home insurance won’t keep squatters out of your property, but it can help you recover the property.

Our insurance offers an optional legal expenses policy which covers legal and eviction costs for anyone who does not have the owners permission to be in the property. Our insurance will also cover malicious damage should squatters damage your holiday home.

Without the appropriate insurance, you won’t be compensated for damage that occurs due to squatters or the associated legal costs of evicting them, so check if your policy provides cover.

How to minimise the risk of holiday home squatters

Here are some security tips and ideas to help you deter squatters and make it as difficult as possible for them to occupy your holiday home when it is unoccupied:

  • Make sure all windows and doors are locked when your holiday home is unoccupied.
  • Put lights on timers to make your property looked lived in.
  • If you live close by, visit your property to check for issues and potential security risks.
  • Get to know your neighbours and ask them to keep an eye on your property when you’re not there and report any suspicious activity. If you use a local letting agent or property manager, they can also monitor your property.
  • An alarm system is one of the most effective ways to deter squatters from breaking in.
  • A doorbell camera can also detect and alert you of motion at your holiday home when it’s empty.

The best thing you can do is weed out potential squatters right at the beginning of the booking process. There are also some steps you can take to screen for unwanted guests and identify red flags:

  • Avoid one-night bookings. Guests who don’t intend to leave are unlikely to spend a large amount of money on a longer-term holiday booking.
  • Control your own bookings as far as is possible.
  • A guest profile with blurry profile pictures, a vague about me section or one that was created shortly before the request to book can be a flag, especially if further communication about their travel plans isn’t forthcoming.
  • Using a listing site that verifies guests booking on their platform provides reassurance.
  • Trust your gut, if a booking looks suspicious, it might be. Ask guests to provide more information about their travel plans to give you peace of mind as to what their intentions are. If they refuse, it’s best to turn down the booking.
  • Always use a booking contract that shows the holiday dates the guest booked. The booking contract will help you to prove your case should you have to remove unwanted guests.

To summarise

If you find yourself in a position where you’ve got guests who refuse to leave after their booking or squatters in your holiday home, don’t panic. The legal position for evicting squatters in a holiday let is a lot simpler than other types of properties.

Comprehensive insurance that covers damage and legal expenses incurred in evicting squatters should also make the process of getting your property back straightforward.

Note: The above is intended as a general guide and we’re not offering legal advice. You should seek professional legal advice before taking action.

Write a Comment



See how much you could save!

Click here to start your quote