Excluded occupiers

You are probably an excluded occupier if you share accommodation with your landlord.

What is an excluded occupier?

You are probably an excluded occupier if you:

  • share accommodation with your landlord
  • live in the same building as your landlord and share accommodation with a member of your landlord's family
  • live in a council or housing association-run hostel
  • do not pay any rent

Use Shelter's tenancy checker if you are not sure what type of tenancy you have.

Rights of excluded occupiers

Unless you agree to it, your landlord cannot increase your rent during the fixed-term.

If you paid a deposit for your accommodation, it doesn't have to be protected in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme.

You can stay in your accommodation until your landlord asks you to go or for as long as your written agreement says.

Your landlord can evict you by giving you verbal notice. They don't need a court order.

Right to rent immigration checks

If you move in on or after 1 February 2016, you should be asked to prove that you have the right to live in the UK and the right to rent.

Find out more about right to rent immigration checks.

Rental agreements for excluded occupiers

Your landlord doesn't have to give you a contract but it is a good idea to have a written agreement in place.

A contract sets out the rights and responsibilities that you and your landlord have.

If you don't have a set date for ending your rental agreement, you have a periodic tenancy.

You have a fixed term tenancy if it's for a set period such as six months.

Tenancy deposits

If you pay a deposit for your accommodation, this doesn't have to be protected in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme.

Deposit protection schemes only cover deposits paid by assured shorthold tenants.

When you move out, your deposit should be returned to you.

If you owe any money or cause any damage, your landlord can make reasonable deductions.

Find out more about getting back your deposit at the end of your tenancy.

Rent and rent increases

You pay the rent that you agreed with your landlord.

If you pay rent weekly, your landlord has to provide a rent book.

You and your landlord agree how much rent you pay. The landlord cannot increase your rent during the fixed-term unless you agree to the increase.

Your landlord can increase your rent after the fixed term ends.

If you don't pay your rent your landlord can evict you.

Eviction of excluded occupiers

If you have a periodic agreement or a fixed-term agreement that has expired, your landlord can evict you once you have been given reasonable notice.

The notice can be given verbally. You have to leave once the notice expires.

Your landlord doesn't need a court order to evict you.

If you have a fixed-term agreement, your landlord can't evict you during the fixed term, unless there's a break clause in your agreement.

Find out more about the eviction of excluded occupiers.

Illegal eviction

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

Get advice if this is happening to you.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local adviser or call our free housing advice helpline.

How you can end your tenancy

You can end your tenancy by:

  • agreeing with your landlord to end the tenancy (known as surrender)
  • serving a valid notice

It is possible for a tenancy to be surrendered at any time. Get your landlord's agreement in writing if possible. This can help to avoid problems later.

If you have a periodic tenancy, you have to give reasonable notice or the notice is specified in your agreement. Reasonable notice is usually the same as one rental period. So, if you pay the rent weekly, reasonable notice would be one week. If you pay your rent monthly, reasonable notice would be one month.

The notice should end on the first or last day of the period of a tenancy, unless your tenancy agreement says otherwise. For example, if your tenancy is monthly and started on the fifth day of the month, you can give the landlord notice that ends on the fourth or the fifth.

Check with an adviser if you have any doubts about the dates. 

Once the notice ends, your tenancy ends and you no longer have any right to live in your home.

If you have a fixed-term tenancy, you can only give notice during the fixed-term if your tenancy agreement says it is allowed. The length of notice you have to give depends on what your tenancy agreement says. It is also possible to leave on the day your tenancy ends without giving any notice.

Passing on your tenancy

You have no rights to sublet or pass on your tenancy other than those set out in your agreement.

If you attempt to pass your tenancy to someone else under any other circumstances your landlord can evict you and the person you attempt to pass the tenancy on to.


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