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What are my rights as a lodger?  

Lodgers, or excluded occupiers as they are legally known, are different from private renters in a number of ways. Unlike private tenants, lodgers live in the same properties as their landlord, and it will be the landlord’s main residence. Lodgers have fewer rights than renters because they don’t usually sign a tenancy to live in the property but rather a licence agreement between them and the owner of the property.  

On this page we focus on lodgers who share living spaces with their landlord rather than live in an annex or separate part of the property. For more information on different types of lodging arrangement check out the Citizens Advice page on lodgers here. It is worth noting that if you are a lodger who does not share living space with your landlord then you have more rights than a lodger who does as you are considered to be much more similar to a typical private renter.

If you are sharing a living space with your landlord then this mean that they can evict you with only basic notice and they do not need to go to court to evict you. The usual notice period is what is considered reasonable – the government advises that they should be similar to the length of the rental period, so that if you pay monthly you should receive a month’s notice. However this is only advisory and some landlords may give you only seven days notice as they are under no obligation to give you a fixed time. If your landlord wishes to evict you without going to court then they can only do so “peaceably”, which includes changing the locks on the doors of the property without your knowledge. If your landlord attempts to remove you violently or using threats of violence then this is a criminal offence and you should report them to the police or local council. Equally, if your landlord evicts you “peaceably” they cannot withhold any items that belong to you and they must arrange a reasonable time for your to collect them. It’s also important to note that you cannot as a lodger put a lock on your bedroom door as this could potentially be a breach of your licence.

Lodgers are also not protected by the deposit protection system – this means your landlord is under no legal obligation to protect your deposit. If your landlord refused to return your deposit then you may have to go to the small claims court to get it back. More information can be found here.

For more information on being a lodger check out these expert sites:

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