The wording of the ground is this
“The tenancy is a fixed term tenancy for a term not exceeding eight months and—
(a) not later than the beginning of the tenancy the landlord gave notice in writing to the tenant that possession might be recovered on this ground; and
(b) at some time within the period of twelve months ending with the beginning of the tenancy, the dwelling-house was occupied under a right to occupy it for a holiday
Now let’s pick it apart.
Yet again this ground needs prior notice served that this ground may be used but unlike grounds 1 and 2 the courts have no power to dispense with service of this prior notice.
The purpose of having this ground is for landlords who oscillate between genuine holiday lets and standard residential let’s, although you need to bear in mind that the residential let should be for no more than 8 months long.
Having said that, the ground should theoretically at least be available where the tenant stays on longer than 8 months, as long as the set, fixed term is only 8 months.
It is an important requirement that at some point during the preceding 12 months the property was genuinely used as a holiday let but, here is the difficult bit, if there is any suspicion that this was not the case the burden of proof falls on the tenant in defence, not the landlord.
On a general note don’t presume that ‘Holiday let’ means a seaside is involved, or even sunshine.
All of the UKs major cities are among the world’s biggest tourist destinations and this ground was created long before AirBnB started the trend for renting out homes to tourists as a more lucrative and less regulated income stream than residential lettings.
Accordingly this ground might be seen in wider use as things unfold in the light of changes to the Deregulation Act whereby landlords no longer need planning permission where a letting is for less than 90 days.
Defending this ground
A difficult one for advisers and advocates.
The only hard bit of law is that the courts cant dispense with service of the pre-notice.
If there is a suspicion that the residential letting wasn’t preceded by a genuine holiday let you are going to have to prove it and you end up in private detective mode for that one.