Eviction of lodgers

Your landlord can evict you easily if you are a lodger or classed as an excluded occupier.  

Lodgers and other excluded occupiers

Lodgers have the legal status of an excluded occupier. You are a lodger if you share the kitchen, bathroom or other living accommodation with your landlord.

You will also be classed as an excluded occupier if you live:

  • in the same building as your landlord (as long as that building isn't a block of flats), and you share the kitchen, bathroom or other living space with a member of your landlord's family
  • rent-free (but not if you work for your landlord and your pay is reduced to cover the 'rent')
  • in a hostel run by a local council or a housing association
  • in temporary accommodation arranged by the council while it is looking into your homelessness application

How long you can stay

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

Notice to leave

Your landlord should give you reasonable notice to leave. Notice can be given verbally. You must leave when the notice period ends.

If you have a written agreement (such as a licence agreement) it should say how much notice you should be given. Your landlord doesn't have to give you notice in writing unless your agreement says they should.

Your landlord doesn't have to get a court order for you to leave when the notice expires.

If you don't leave 

Your landlord can insist that you leave. If you don’t move out, your landlord can change the locks while you’re out.

Your landlord must take reasonable care of any belongings you have left at the property. They should contact you and make arrangements for you to collect your belongings within a reasonable time.

Your landlord can sell or dispose of your belongings if you don't collect them within a reasonable time or if they can't make contact with you.

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

Court action

Your landlord does not need to go to court to evict you. 

Your landlord could choose to apply to the court to ask for a possession order. As long as you were given reasonable notice, the court must make an order to evict you.

Where to get advice

Get advice immediately if you're facing eviction or homelessness.

You can ask the council for help if you can't find anywhere else to live.

Contact a Shelter adviser online, by phone or in person

Last updated 26 May 2015 | © Shelter

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