Eviction of excluded occupiers

If you are an excluded occupier your landlord can evict you very easily. Your landlord does not have to give you notice in writing or go to court, but you are entitled to reasonable notice.

Are you an excluded occupier?

The law gives most tenants some legal protection from eviction. They can remain in their home until their landlord gives them notice to leave in writing and gets a court order.

People living in certain situations are excluded from this legal protection and so are called excluded occupiers.

You are an excluded occupier if you:

  • are a lodger, sharing the kitchen, bathroom or other living accommodation with your landlord
  • live in the same building as your landlord (as long as that building isn't a block of flats), and you share the kitchen, bathroom or other living space with a member of your landlord's family 
  • live rent-free (but not if you work for your landlord and your pay is reduced to cover the 'rent')
  • live in a hostel run by a local council or a housing association
  • live in temporary accommodation arranged by the council while it is looking into your homelessness application

Reasonable notice for excluded occupiers

Your landlord can evict you after you have been given reasonable notice to leave. If you have a written agreement (such as a licence agreement) it should say how long the notice must be.

Reasonable notice is usually 28 days, but it can be less depending on the circumstances. 

The notice doesn't have to be in writing. Your landlord can just tell you to leave by a particular date.

If you paid a deposit, ask the landlord to return it.

After the notice ends

You must leave when the notice period ends. Your landlord can insist that you leave if you have not already done so.

If you are not in the property when the notice period ends, your landlord can change the locks while you are out and remove your belongings from the property and place them outside.

Your landlord does not need to go to court to evict you. 

It is a criminal offence for the landlord to use or threaten you with violence while evicting you.

Even though it is not necessary, a landlord may choose to get a possession order from the court before evicting you. The court must make an order to evict you, as long as you were given reasonable notice.

If you are asked to leave

Call Shelter's helpline on 0808 800 4444 ;without delay if you are being evicted with limited notice or without any notice.

If you are not sure of your rights, contact a local advice centre as soon as you can.

Use Shelter's directory to find advice centres in your area.

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