Occupiers with basic protection

Occupiers with basic protection can be evicted more easily than other private tenants

Rights of occupiers with basic protection

Occupiers with basic protection have fewer rights than most other private tenants. 

Your landlord:

  • doesn’t need to protect your deposit
  • can evict you without a reason
  • doesn’t have to give you notice at the end of a fixed term contract

Are you an occupier with basic protection?

You’ll be an occupier with basic protection if your situation means the law stops you having a tenancy type with more rights.

This includes if you:

  • are a student and live in university owned halls of residence
  • live in the same converted building as your landlord but in a separate flat
  • pay a high rent of £100,000 or more a year

Your renting agreement

Your landlord doesn't have to give you a written agreement, but some rules apply even if they aren’t written down.

For example:

  • what repairs your landlord needs to do
  • the rules they must follow to evict you

A written agreement could be:

  • fixed term - for example 6 or 12 months
  • periodic - rolling monthly or weekly

It should set out any extra responsibilities that you and your landlord have.

If you don’t have a written agreement you will normally have a rolling tenancy.

Tenancy deposits

Your landlord can ask you to pay a deposit. It doesn’t need to be protected in a deposit protection scheme.

At the end of your tenancy your landlord can deduct money from your deposit if you owe rent or if you’ve damaged the property.

You can apply to court if you don’t agree with your landlord keeping all or part of your deposit.

Rent and rent increases

You pay the rent that you agreed with your landlord.

Your landlord can only increase the rent if you either:

  • agree to a new rent
  • sign a new contract
  • have a rent review clause in your contract

Responsibility for repairs

Your landlord is responsible for most repairs including:

  • the roof and walls
  • external windows and doors
  • heating and plumbing

Tell your landlord or letting agent if your home needs repairs.

Your landlord must arrange for a gas safety inspection every year and give you a copy of the gas safety certificate.

If your landlord wants you to leave

Your landlord doesn’t need a reason to ask you to leave. However, they do need to follow the correct process.

Notice for fixed term agreements

At the end of the fixed term tenancy your landlord can apply to court straight away without giving you written notice.

They can only give you notice to leave before the end of the fixed term if there is a break clause in the agreement. The clause should say how much notice they need to give.

Notice for periodic agreements

If your landlord wants to end your periodic agreement, they need to give you at least 4 weeks’ notice, or a month if you pay rent monthly.

It needs to end on the last day of a period of your tenancy. This runs from when your periodic agreement began. For example, if your tenancy began on the 5th of the month, your landlords notice would need to end on the 4th.

The notice also needs to say that:

  • your landlord can only evict you by applying to court
  • you can get advice if you don’t know what your rights are

Eviction

If you don’t move out when the notice expires or your fixed term ends, your landlord needs to apply to court for a possession order.

The court must make a possession order if your landlord followed the correct process.

After the date on the possession order your landlord can apply to court for bailiffs to evict you.

You'll normally have to pay the landlord’s court costs.

How to end your tenancy

You can end your periodic tenancy by giving your landlord written notice.

Your notice will normally need to:

  • be at least 28 days or a month if you pay rent monthly
  • end on the first or last day of a period of your tenancy

You’ll need to give a longer notice if that’s what your agreement says.

If you have a fixed term tenancy agreement you can only move out early if:

  • there is a break clause saying you can give notice
  • your landlord agrees to end the tenancy early

You can normally move out at the end of a fixed term agreement without giving formal notice. It’s a good idea to let your landlord know that you’re leaving.


Last updated 16 Dec 2019 | © Shelter

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