Lodgers

Find out about your rights if you rent a room in your landlord's home.

Who is a lodger?

You are a lodger if you rent a room in your landlord's home and you share other rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen with your landlord.

Rental agreements for lodgers

It's a good idea to ask for a written contract so what has been agreed is clear.

Your agreement could be:

  • fixed term – for example 6 or 12 months

  • periodic – a rolling contract with no set end date

The contract should set out the rights and responsibilities of both you and your landlord.

Before you move in, your landlord must carry out a right to rent immigration check.

You can show a passport or certain other documents to pass the check.

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 rent can't be increased during a fixed term agreement unless either:

  • you agree to the increase

  • your agreement says how and when it can be increased

If you have a rolling agreement, your landlord can increase your rent at any time.

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

Resident landlords can evict lodgers 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.

Any gas appliances must be checked each year by a Gas Safe engineer.

If your direct landlord is a tenant themselves, the head landlord must arrange safety checks and carry out repairs. For example, if you rent a room in the home of a council tenant.

Deposits

The deposit is your money and should usually be returned to you when you leave.

Your landlord might make deductions from a deposit to cover any damage or unpaid rent.

Ask for written information about what deductions could be made from your deposit.

Agree and sign an inventory listing the contents and condition of your room and any rooms you share with your landlord. This can help avoid disputes later.

Your landlord does not have to protect your deposit if you're a lodger.

Find out how to get your deposit back through the court if your landlord won't return it at the end of the tenancy.

If you're asked to leave

You're usually entitled to reasonable notice before you can be made to leave but your landlord won't need a court order.

Lodgers are classed as 'excluded occupiers'. This means your landlord can evict you without going to court if your agreement has ended.

Your landlord can give you notice to leave at any time in the following situations:

  • you have a periodic rolling contract

  • you never had a written agreement 

If you have a fixed term agreement, you can stay until the end date unless the contract says your landlord can end it early.

Find out how much notice a resident landlord must give you.

You can only be evicted peaceably

For example, by changing the locks while you're out.

It's a criminal offence for a landlord to:

  • harass you in your home

  • use or threaten violence to evict you

Ask the council for homeless help if you have to leave within the next 2 months but have nowhere to move to.

If you want to leave

If you have a written agreement, it should say:

  • how much notice you must give

  • if notice needs to be in writing

If you have a fixed term agreement, you might not be able to give notice unless there's a break clause in the agreement that lets you do this.

Most resident landlords will be flexible if you want to leave so you may also be able to agree an early end to the contract.

If you don't have a written agreement

You can leave after giving your landlord 'reasonable notice'.

This should be at least 7 days but could be more depending on your situation.

The notice does not have to be in writing. It may be useful to confirm your intentions in a text or email.


Last updated: 6 January 2022

If you need to talk to someone, we'll do our best to help

Get help