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

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. They 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 it isn't a block of flats), and you share your living space with a member of your landlord's family
  • do not pay any rent (but not if you work for your landlord and your pay is reduced to cover the rent)
  • 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

You are also an excluded occupier if you are staying in your accommodation for a holiday or you are a hotel guest.

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

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

Reasonable notice for excluded occupiers

If you have a written agreement with your landlord it may say 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 notice. It depends on:

  • the length of time you have been living there
  • the length of time between rent payments
  • your behaviour

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

After the notice ends

Woman on phone surrounded by packing 

You can be evicted once your landlord has given reasonable notice and the notice period has ended. Your landlord has the right to change the locks while you are out. 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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