Occupiers with basic protection

You are probably an occupier with basic protection if you live in the same building as your landlord but you don't share living accommodation with them.

Are you an occupier with basic protection?

You are probably an occupier with basic protection if, for example, you:

  • live in the same building as your landlord but do not share living accommodation with them, for example if your landlord lives in a separate flat within the same converted house
  • live in a student hall of residence
  • pay a very high rent (£100,000 per year or £1923 per week)

You might also be an an occupier with basic protection if you were a secure council tenant, assured tenant or assured shorthold tenant but it's not your main home any more.

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

Right to rent immigration checks

If you have a private landlord you should be asked to prove that you have the right to live in the UK and the right to rent before they can let you become their tenant.

Your landlord can be fined if they don't do right to rent checks. These checks don't have to be carried out if your tenancy started before 1st February 2016.

Find out more about right to rent immigration checks.

Not all tenants have to prove they have the right to rent, for example students in university-owned accommodation.

Rental agreements for occupiers with basic protection

Your landlord doesn't have to give you a written agreement but it's a good idea to have one.

A written rental agreement sets out the rights and responsibilities of you and your landlord.

Your agreement with your landlord could be:

  • periodic – this means it runs from week-to-week or month-to-month, with no set date for ending
  • fixed term – this lasts for a fixed period, for example 6 or 12 months

At the end of a fixed term agreement it will become periodic unless you sign up to a new fixed term.

Tenancy deposits

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

Rules for tenancy deposit protection only cover assured shorthold tenancies.

Your deposit should be returned to you when you move out. Your landlord can make reasonable deductions if you owe any money or cause any damage.

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 your rent weekly, your landlord must provide a rent book.

Your landlord can't increase the rent during any fixed term of your tenancy unless you agree to the increase or your tenancy agreement has a rent review clause.

If you don't pay your rent, your landlord can take steps to evict you.

Responsibility for repairs

The law says your landlord has to keep your home's structure, exterior, plumbing and electrics in good repair.

Your landlord must give you a copy of a current gas safety certificate if there gas appliances in the property. They must arrange for an annual gas safety check. Any furniture provided should be fire resistant.

You are responsible for carrying out minor maintenance to the property. This might include things like unblocking a sink or changing a fuse or lightbulb.

You could also have other responsibilities depending on what your tenancy agreement says. But whatever your agreement says, you are not responsible for repairing anything that the law says is your landlord's responsibility.

Tell your landlord if your accommodation needs repairs. Get advice if your landlord doesn't do repairs they're responsible for.

Use Shelter's directory to find an advice centre in your local area.

How you can end your tenancy

Your can end your periodic tenancy by:

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

You can surrender your tenancy at any time as long as you have your landlord's agreement. Try to get this in writing to avoid any disputes about when and if the tenancy had ended.

To serve a notice to quit you must give your landlord at least 28 days' (for a weekly tenancy) or one month's (for a monthly tenancy) notice in writing. Sometimes your tenancy agreement may say you have to give more notice. The notice must end on the first or last day of a period of your tenancy. The first day is usually the day that that your rent is due.

If you have a fixed-term tenancy you can only give notice to end your tenancy 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 usually possible to leave on the day your tenancy ends without giving any notice. 

You can surrender your fixed-term tenancy at any time but only if you have your landlord's agreement.

After the fixed term ends you can end your tenancy in the same way you would for a periodic tenancy.

Once the notice period ends, your tenancy ends and you no longer have any right to live in your home. If you stay, the landlord must get a court order to evict you.

Periodic agreements: how your landlord can evict you

If you have a periodic tenancy, your landlord must give you the correct written notice. This is known as a Notice to Quit.

Your landlord must then get a possession order from the court.

Find out more about the eviction of occupiers with basic protection and a notice to quit from the landlord.

Fixed-term agreements: how your landlord can evict you

If you have a fixed-term agreement your landlord can apply to the court for a possession order after the fixed-term period ends.

There is no need for the landlord to give you notice.

Your landlord can only apply to the court to evict you before the end of the fixed-term if there is a clause in your tenancy agreement that allows this.

Find out more about the eviction of occupiers with basic protection.

Illegal eviction

If your landlord tries to evict you without getting a court order it may be a criminal offence.

Your local council should help if you have been illegally evicted or harassed by your landlord.

Get advice if this is happening to you. Use Shelter's directory to find a local adviser or call Shelter's free housing advice helpline.

Passing your accommodation on to someone else

You have no rights to sublet or pass on your accommodation unless this is specifically set out in your tenancy agreement.

If you attempt to pass your accommodation to someone else under any other circumstances, your landlord can evict you and the person you attempt to pass it to.


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