Occupiers with basic protection include students in halls and if you live in the same building as your landlord but you don't share living accommodation with them.
Are you an occupier with basic protection?
You are probably an occupier with basic protection if, for example, you:
- live in a university-owned student hall of residence
- live in the same building as your landlord but do not share living accommodation with them, for example if your landlord lives in a separate flat in a converted house
- pay a high rent of £100,000 or more per year
You might also be an occupier with basic protection if you were a secure council tenant, assured tenant or assured shorthold tenant but that's not your main home any more.
Right to rent immigration checks
Before a private landlord can rent to you, they must ask you to prove that you have the right to live in the UK and the right to rent.
Your landlord can be fined if they don't do these right to rent checks.
The checks don't have to be carried out if your tenancy started before 1st February 2016.
Your landlord doesn't have to give you a written tenancy agreement but it's a good idea to have one.
Your agreement with your landlord could be:
- periodic – it rolls on a weekly or monthly basis with no set end date
- fixed term – it lasts for a fixed period, for example 6 or 12 months
A written rental agreement should set out the rights and responsibilities of both you and your landlord.
If you paid a tenancy deposit, it should be returned to you when you move out.
Your landlord can make reasonable deductions from your deposit if you owe rent or cause any damage.
If you pay a deposit, it doesn't have to be protected in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme.
Rent and rent increases
You pay the rent that you agreed with your landlord. If you pay your rent weekly, your landlord must provide a rent book.
Your landlord can't increase the rent during any fixed term of your tenancy unless you agree to the increase or your tenancy agreement has a rent review clause.
If you don't pay your rent, your landlord can take steps to evict you.
Responsibility for repairs
The law says your landlord must keep your home's structure, exterior, plumbing and electrics in good repair.
Your landlord must give you a copy of a current gas safety certificate if there are any gas appliances in the property. They must arrange for an annual gas safety check. Any furniture provided should be fire resistant.
You are responsible for carrying out minor maintenance to the property. This might include things like changing a fuse or replacing a light bulb.
You could also have other responsibilities depending on what your tenancy agreement says.
You are not responsible for repairs that the law says are your landlord's responsibility.
Tell your landlord if your accommodation needs repairs. Get advice if your landlord doesn't do repairs they're responsible for.
How to end your periodic tenancy
Your can end your periodic tenancy by:
- agreeing with your landlord to end the tenancy (known as surrender)
- serving a valid notice to quit on your landlord
You can surrender your tenancy at any time as long as you have your landlord's agreement. Try to get this in writing to avoid any disputes about when and if the tenancy had ended.
To serve a notice to quit you must give your landlord notice in writing. This must be at least 28 days' notice for a weekly tenancy or one month's notice for a monthly tenancy.
Sometimes your tenancy agreement may say you have to give more notice. The notice must end on the first or last day of a period of your tenancy. The first day is usually the day that that your rent is due.
When the notice period ends, your tenancy ends. You no longer have any right to live in the property. If you stay, the landlord must get a court order to evict you.
How to end your fixed-term tenancy
If you have a fixed-term tenancy you can only give notice to end your tenancy during the fixed-term if your tenancy agreement says this is allowed.
The length of notice you have to give depends on what your tenancy agreement says.
You can surrender your fixed-term tenancy at any time but you must have your landlord's agreement.
When your contract ends your tenancy also ends and you no longer have any right to live in your home. If you stay, the landlord must get a court order to evict you..
Periodic agreements: how your landlord can evict you
If you have a periodic tenancy, your landlord must give you the correct written notice. This is known as a Notice to Quit.
Your landlord must then get a possession order from the court.
Find out more about the eviction of occupiers with basic protection and a notice to quit from the landlord.
Fixed-term agreements: how your landlord can evict you
If you have a fixed-term agreement your landlord can apply to the court for a possession order after the fixed-term period ends.
There is no need for the landlord to give you notice.
Your landlord can only apply to the court to evict you before the end of the fixed-term if there is a clause in your tenancy agreement that allows this.
Find out more about the eviction of occupiers with basic protection.
It may be a criminal offence if your landlord tries to evict you without getting a court order.
Your local council should help if you have been illegally evicted or harassed by your landlord.
Get advice if this is happening to you.
Passing your accommodation on to someone else
You have no rights to sublet or pass on your accommodation unless this is specifically set out in your tenancy agreement.
If you attempt to pass your accommodation to someone else under any other circumstances, your landlord can evict you and the person you attempt to pass it to.
Last updated 01 Nov 2016 | © Shelter
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