Eviction of lodgers

Your landlord can evict you easily if you are a lodger. This is because you are an excluded occupier.  

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. 

You will be an excluded occupier if you are a lodger. 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 fixed term agreement if the contract says they can
  • during a rolling agreement if they have given you notice

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 (but not if 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 local council or a housing association
  • in emergency accommodation arranged by the council while it is looking into your homelessness application

How long you can stay

If you have a fixed term agreement (for example 6 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

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 normally need to give you notice if they want you to leave at the end of a fixed term agreement.

If you don’t have a written agreement your landlord only needs to give you reasonable notice.

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 the notice. 

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. 

However they 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.

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.

Your landlord can sell  your belongings and deduct any storage costs if you don't collect them within a reasonable time or if they can't make contact with 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 28 Aug 2019 | © Shelter

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