Eviction of excluded occupiers

You are likely to be an excluded occupier if you share living accommodation with your landlord. Your landlord can evict you without having to go to court.

Rights of excluded occupiers

Most private tenants have rights that come from the law. These depend on the agreement you have with your landlord, your living arrangements, and the date you moved in.

You can usually only be forced to leave in certain circumstances. Your landlord normally has to follow specific legal procedures in order to evict you.

However, the law excludes some people from this protection. These occupiers can be evicted without a court order and without the landlord having to prove a reason. The landlord only has to give reasonable notice. This does not have to be in writing.

This applies to you if you:

  • share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom with your landlord
  • share facilities with a member of your landlord's family and your landlord lives in the same building 
  • live in your accommodation for a holiday
  • are a hotel guest
  • do not pay any rent for your accommodation
  • live in a hostel owned by the council or certain housing associations
  • are in temporary accommodation arranged by the council while it is making inquiries into your homelessness application

Contact a local advice centre as soon as you can if you are being evicted and are not sure of your rights.

Use Shelter's services advice directory to find agencies near you.

Reasonable notice for excluded occupiers

If you have a written agreement with your landlord it may state how much notice the landlord has to give you. This is the minimum notice that your landlord must give you. If you have lived in your home for a long time it may be possible to argue that it would be reasonable to give a longer period of notice.

Even if you don't have a written agreement with the landlord, you may still have agreed with your landlord about the length of notice before you leave. If not, the landlord has to give reasonable notice.

There are no set rules about what is reasonable. It depends on:

  • the length of time you have been living there
  • the length of time between rent payments
  • whether you have been getting on with your landlord
  • how quickly the landlord needs someone else to move in
  • your behaviour

After the notice ends

Woman on phone surrounded by packing 

You can be evicted once your landlord has given reasonable notice and the notice has ended. Your landlord has the right to change the locks while you are out, or they can remove your belongings and place them outside to persuade you to leave.

Your landlord may be guilty of committing a criminal offence if physical violence is used or threatened during the eviction.

A landlord may get a possession order from the court to evict an excluded occupier, although this is not necessary. The court has no choice but to make a possession order as long as reasonable notice has been given.

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