Rights of excluded occupiers

Excluded occupiers usually share accommodation with the landlord.

What is an excluded occupier?

You're probably an excluded occupier if you:

  • share accommodation with your landlord (or a member of their family if your landlord also lives in the building)
  • are placed in emergency housing after a homeless application
  • live in a council or housing association run hostel
  • live with family or friends and you are not the tenant or owner
  • don't have to pay rent

Use our Tenancy Rights Checker to check your tenancy type

Agreements for excluded occupiers

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

A contract should set out rights and responsibilities for you and your landlord.

Right to rent immigration checks

If you are a lodger or have a private landlord, your landlord or their letting agent must carry out a right to rent immigration check.

You'll have to prove that you have the right to live in the UK.

This doesn't apply if you moved in before 1 February 2016.

Tenancy deposits

If you pay a deposit, it should be returned to you when you move out.

Your landlord can make reasonable deductions if you owe rent or cause damage.

Your landlord doesn't have to protect your deposit if you're an excluded occupier.

Rent and rent increases

You agree the rent with your landlord when you move in.

If you pay rent weekly, your landlord must give you a rent book.

Your landlord can increase your rent if:

  • you agree to an increase, or
  • there's a term in your agreement setting out when and how the rent can increase

Your landlord might ask you to leave if you don't agree to a rent increase.

Your landlord could evict you without a court order once any fixed term or notice period has ended.

Repairs and safety

Your landlord should fix most problems in your home. A written agreement may set out what your landlord must repair.

You have to fix damage you cause.

Your landlord must arrange gas safety checks by a Gas Safe engineer every 12 months.

If your landlord is a tenant, their landlord must arrange safety checks.

Notice if you want to leave

If you have a written agreement, it should say how much notice you must give your landlord and whether it should be in writing.

If you have a fixed term agreement, you can’t give notice to leave before it ends unless:

  • there is a clause in the agreement that allows this
  • you agree with your landlord that it can end early

If you don't have a written contract or agreement, you can leave after you give your landlord reasonable notice.

Reasonable notice should be at least 7 days but can be more depending on your circumstances.

The notice usually doesn't have to be in writing.

Eviction of excluded occupiers

You can be evicted without a court order if you're an excluded occupier.

Your landlord can only do this: 

  • at the end of a fixed term agreement
  • during a fixed term agreement if the contract says they can
  • during a rolling agreement if they have given you notice

If you don't have a written contract or fixed term agreement, your landlord can tell you to leave after giving you reasonable notice.

What's reasonable will depend on the situation and why you've been asked to leave. 

Illegal eviction

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

If you're facing eviction and homelessness

You can ask the council for help if you're facing eviction.

Need more help?

Contact a Shelter adviser online, by phone or in person.

Last updated 29 November 2019 | © Shelter

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