Skip to main content
Shelter Logo


You're a lodger if you:

  • rent a room in your landlord's home

  • share other rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen with your landlord

Use our tenancy checker to check if you're a lodger

Rental agreements for lodgers

Ask for a written contract so it's clear what you've agreed.

Your agreement could be:

  • fixed term, for example, 6 or 12 months

  • a rolling contract with no set end date

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

Your landlord must do a right to rent immigration check before you move in.

If you're asked to leave

Lodgers can be evicted without a court order if your agreement or notice period has ended.

With a rolling contract you should get 'reasonable notice'. This should be at least 7 days but could be more depending on your situation.

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

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 cannot give notice unless there's a break clause in the agreement.

But many resident landlords will be flexible if you want to leave early.

If you do not 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 send a text or email to confirm.


Your money should be returned to you when you leave unless your landlord has a reason for deductions.

Ask for an inventory listing the contents and condition of your room and any rooms you share with your landlord. This can help avoid disagreements later.

Your landlord does not have to protect your deposit. If they do not return it when you move out, you could get your deposit back through court.

Rent and rent increases

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

If you have a fixed term agreement, your rent cannot be increased 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 do not agree to an increase.

Repairs and safety

Your landlord should fix most problems in your home.

A written agreement may set out what your landlord must repair.

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

If you rent from someone who is a tenant themselves, the head landlord must arrange the gas safety checks. For example, a council or housing association.

Last updated: 20 September 2022

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

Get help