A lodger rents a room in someone else's home, usually living with the landlord and sharing facilities and bills.

Lodger's legal status

Most lodgers are excluded occupiers.

If you live in your landlord's home but don't share a living space with them, you could be an occupier with basic protection.

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 lodgers

A landlord does not have to provide a lodger with a contract but it is a good idea to have a written agreement in place. This sets out the rights and responsibilities of both you and your landlord.

Your agreement with your landlord could be:

  • periodic – this means it runs from one rent period to the next, with no set date for ending
  • fixed term – this lasts a set number of weeks, months or years

Deposits for lodgers

You might be asked to pay a deposit to cover any damage or missed rent. This should be returned to you when you leave.

Rules for tenancy deposit protection don't cover deposits paid by lodgers.

Make an inventory listing the contents and condition of your room and any rooms you share with your landlord. Get the landlord to sign the inventory to avoid disputes when you leave.

Ask your landlord for information about situations where deductions could be made from your deposit. Get this agreement in writing if possible.

Find out more about getting back your deposit when you're a lodger.

Rent and rent increases

Ask for a receipt if you pay your rent in cash.

If possible, set up a standing order to pay rent. You won't need to carry large amounts of cash and the landlord won't have to remind you to pay rent.

Unless you agree to it, your landlord can't increase your rent during the fixed-term of your tenancy. Your landlord can increase the rent after the fixed term ends.


The landlord is responsible for keeping their home and your room in good repair.

When you are asked to leave

If they want you to leave, your landlord only has to give you reasonable notice.

Find out more about the notice your landlord must give you as an excluded occupier.

If your landlord's home is repossessed

You might have to leave if the property is repossessed.

Find out more about repossession by the landlord's lender.

Get advice if you are in this situation. Use Shelter's directory to find a local advice centre or call Shelter's helpline.


Last updated:

  • Print this page
  • Email this page