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 facilities such as the bathroom and kitchen with your landlord.
Rental agreements for lodgers
Your landlord doesn't have to provide you with a written contract but it's a good idea to have one.
Your agreement with your landlord 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.
Deposits paid by lodgers
Your landlord might ask you to pay a deposit to cover any damage or unpaid rent. The deposit is your money and should be returned to you when you leave.
Ask your landlord for information about what deductions could be made from your deposit. Get this in writing if possible.
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.
Deposits paid by lodgers aren't covered by tenancy deposit protection rules.
If your landlord won't return your deposit when you leave, you may need to consider court action to get your deposit back.
Rights if you're asked to leave
Lodgers are 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 if you either:
- have a periodic rolling contract
- 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.
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. They might ask you to leave if you don't agree to the increase.
Repairs and safety in the home
Your landlord should fix any repair problems in your home. A written agreement may set out what your landlord must repair.
If you cause damage, you're responsible for fixing it or paying for repairs.
Your landlord must make sure a Gas Safe engineer carries out a gas safety check every 12 months.
Right to rent immigration checks
Before you move in, your landlord must check your immigration status.
You can show a passport or certain other documents to pass the check.
It's called a right to rent check and only applies if your agreement started on or after 1 February 2016.
Last updated 16 Sep 2019 | © Shelter
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