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.
What are your rights?
Most private tenants have rights that come from the law. These depend on your living arrangements, the date you moved in, and the agreement you have with your landlord.
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. But 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, which doesn't even have to be in writing.
This applies to you if:
- you share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom with your landlord
- your landlord lives in the same building and you share facilities with a member of your landlord's family
- you are living in your accommodation for a holiday
- you are a hotel guest
- you 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.
If you are being evicted and are not sure of your rights, contact a local advice centre as soon as you can.
Use Shelter's services advice directory to find agencies near you.
What is 'reasonable notice'?
If you have a written agreement with your landlord it may state how much notice the landlord has to give you. If that is the case then this is the minimum notice required. 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.
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.
What happens after the notice ends?
Once your landlord has given reasonable notice and it has ended you can be evicted. Your landlord has the right to change the locks while you are out or may 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.
Even though it is not necessary a landlord may get a possession order from the court to evict an excluded occupier. The court has no choice but to make a possession order as long as reasonable notice has been given.
Last updated: 1 January 2014