Eviction of lodgers

This page has been updated following the coronavirus outbreak 

Lodgers and other excluded occupiers

You are a lodger if you live with your landlord and share a kitchen, bathroom or other living accommodation with them. 

Lodgers are excluded occupiers. This means that your landlord can evict you without going to court. 

They can do this either:

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

Other excluded occupiers

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 - unless you work for your landlord and your pay is reduced to cover the cost of your accommodation
  • in a room in a hostel run by a council or a housing association
  • in emergency accommodation arranged by the council while it is looking into your homelessness application

Eviction of lodgers during the coronavirus outbreak

The pause on evictions and the new extended 3 month notice period don't apply to lodgers and other excluded occupiers.

Your landlord must still follow the normal process if they want you to leave. 

If you have a written agreement, they should follow any terms about notice or ending the agreement.

Your landlord should be flexible and understanding. 

Ask for more time if lockdown restrictions mean you can't:

  • move out safely
  • find another place to move to
  • get your belongings out quickly

How long you can stay

If you have a fixed term agreement, such as for 6 or 12 months, you can stay until the end date unless the contract says your landlord can end it early.

Your landlord can give you notice to leave at any time if you either:

  • have a rolling agreement
  • never had a written contract

Notice to leave

The new 3 month notice period due to the coronavirus outbreak doesn't apply to lodgers. Check your agreement to see what it says about notice to leave.

A written agreement may tell you:

  • if notice should be in writing
  • how much notice you're entitled to
  • if a fixed term agreement can be ended early

If there's nothing about this in your agreement, the notice period depends on how often you pay rent. For example, a week's notice if you pay weekly or a month's notice if you pay monthly.

Your landlord doesn’t normally need to give you notice if they want you to leave at the end of a fixed term agreement.

You're only entitled to reasonable notice if you don't have a written agreement.

Reasonable notice could be short – for example, a week if you pay rent weekly. The notice doesn’t need to be in writing and could be verbal.

If you don't leave 

Your landlord can insist that you leave at the end of either:

  • your notice period
  • a fixed term agreement

If you don’t move out, your landlord can evict you peaceably. For example, they could change the locks while you’re out.

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

Court action

Your landlord doesn't have to get a court order to evict you at the end of the notice or the end of your fixed term. 

However they could choose to apply to the court to ask for a possession order. As long as you were given the right notice the court must make an order to evict you.

Landlords can't do this at the moment as all court action for eviction is on hold.

Your belongings

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.

Tell your landlord if lockdown restrictions mean you can't collect your belongings straight away

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 or by phone

Last updated 04 May 2020 | © Shelter

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