Rights of excluded occupiers

Excluded occupiers can be evicted without a court order once their contract or permission to live somewhere has ended.

Who is an excluded occupier?

You're probably an excluded occupier if you're:

  • living rent free with family or friends

  • a lodger who shares your home with a resident landlord

  • sharing with your landlord's family member and your landlord also lives in the building

  • placed in emergency housing after a homeless application

  • staying in a in a council or housing association run hostel

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 if you're an excluded occupier.

What's reasonable will depend on the situation and why you've been asked to leave. 

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

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

Agreements for excluded occupiers

It's a good idea to have a written agreement if you're a lodger.

Most hostels or emergency housing providers will give you a licence agreement.

The agreements should set out the rights and responsibilities of you and the landlord or housing provider.

Tenancy deposits

If you pay a deposit, it should be returned to you when you move out.

Your landlord can make reasonable deductions if you owe rent or cause damage.

Your landlord doesn't have to protect your deposit if you're an excluded occupier.

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 landlord can increase your rent if:

  • you agree to an increase, or

  • there's a term in your agreement setting out when and how the rent can increase

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

Your landlord could evict you 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.

Your landlord must arrange gas safety checks by a Gas Safe engineer every 12 months.

If your landlord is a tenant, their landlord must arrange safety checks.

Notice if you want to leave

If you have a written agreement, it should say how much notice you must give your landlord and whether it should be in writing.

If you have a fixed term agreement, you can’t give notice to leave before it ends unless:

  • there is a clause in the agreement that allows this

  • you agree with your landlord that it can end early

If you don't have a written contract or agreement, you can leave after you give your landlord reasonable notice.

Reasonable notice should be at least 7 days but can be more depending on your circumstances.

The notice usually doesn't have to be in writing.

Last updated: 28 November 2019

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