Check your rights if you're an excluded occupier

Mae'r cyngor hwn yn berthnasol i Cymru. Gweler cyngor ar gyfer Gweler cyngor ar gyfer Lloegr, Gweler cyngor ar gyfer Gogledd Iwerddon, Gweler cyngor ar gyfer Yr Alban

If you live in the same building as your landlord

You’re a lodger if you share ‘living space’ with your landlord - for example a kitchen, living room or bathroom.

You’re a type of excluded occupier, but you should follow our advice for lodgers - check your rights as a lodger.

You might not have any documents that say you’re an excluded occupier - it’s based on your situation. Your rental agreement with your landlord might be in a written document - or you might just have agreed it verbally.

You’re an excluded occupier if for example:

  • you’re staying in a hotel or holiday home

  • you’re staying in a hostel run by a council or housing association

  • you applied as homeless and the council have given you ‘emergency accommodation’ while they make a decision about your application

  • you’re an asylum seeker and the government have given you somewhere to live while they make a decision about your application

  • you don’t have to pay any rent - for example because a friend is letting you stay in a property they own for free

If you’re an excluded occupier, you have fewer rights than people with an occupation contract.

In rare cases your landlord might choose to give you an occupation contract - this gives you the same rights as any other contract holder.

If your landlord wants to evict you

You don’t have much protection against eviction - but your landlord has to give you enough notice to move out.

Your landlord can give you notice to move out verbally, unless your rental agreement says it has to be in writing.

Your landlord doesn’t need a court order to evict you but they can get one if they choose to.

If you have an end date for your rental agreement

Your landlord can only evict you if any of the following apply:

  • the fixed-term you agreed has come to an end

  • your agreement includes a ‘break clause’ - this lets your landlord end it early but they still have to give you the notice set out in your agreement

  • the Home Office tells your landlord you don’t have the right to rent in the UK - they still have to give you at least 28 days’ notice to leave

  • your agreement says it can end early if you break certain terms - and you’ve broken the terms

If your landlord is making you move out because you’ve broken a term, they still have to give you the amount of notice set out in the agreement.

If you didn’t agree an end date with your landlord

Your landlord must give you ‘reasonable notice’ to move out. Sometimes reasonable notice could be a few days, but is more likely to be a few weeks.

What’s reasonable depends on things like:

  • how long you’ve lived there

  • how often you have to pay rent - for example if you have to pay rent monthly, a month’s notice might be reasonable

  • your behaviour - for example if you’ve damaged the property or been aggressive you’re likely to get less notice

If your agreement with your landlord includes a notice period but you think it’s unreasonable, you should ask them to give you a reasonable amount of notice instead.

Getting repairs done

Your landlord has to take steps to make sure your home is safe and that you won’t be injured because of the condition of your home.

Check your rental agreement - it might say what repairs you and your landlord are responsible for.

It’s usually easy for a landlord to evict you if you’re an excluded occupier. You should think about how you ask your landlord to make repairs - if the landlord responds badly to your request, they might decide to evict you.

It’s a good idea to ask your landlord to make repairs in an informal and cooperative way. For example, you could talk to your landlord and explain what the problem is and how it’s affecting you.

If you have a private landlord, you might want to look for somewhere else to live rather than complaining and risking eviction.

If your landlord is a local council or housing association, it’s worth complaining to them. They won’t usually evict you for making a complaint.

If the condition of your home means it’s not reasonable for you to stay there, you might be legally homeless. Check if you can get homeless help from the council.

If you’re in homeless accommodation

If your home isn’t safe or suitable for you to live in, you can ask your local council to move you somewhere else. Check what you can do if your homeless accommodation isn’t suitable.

Rent increases

If your rental agreement has an end date, you'll have a fixed-term agreement.

If you’re on a fixed-term agreement, your landlord can only increase your rent if there’s a clause that allows it. This is called the ‘rent review clause’.

If you’re not on a fixed-term agreement, your landlord can increase your rent whenever they want. 

If you don’t agree with the increase, talk to your landlord to try to reach an agreement.

If you can’t reach an agreement, your landlord might evict you.

If you need help paying your rent

You can check what you can do if you’re struggling to pay your rent.

You can also get help with the cost of living.

If you want to move out

You’II usually need to let your landlord know in advance if you want to end your rental agreement - this is called giving notice.

You have to give notice in the correct way - if you don’t, you might have to pay rent even after you’ve moved out. You might also have to pay other bills - for example, council tax. 

When and how much notice you give will depend on whether you have a fixed-term agreement and if your agreement says anything about giving notice.

You should always give notice in writing and keep a copy of it. 

If you can't give the right amount of notice, you might be able to agree with your landlord to end your rental agreement early. This is called 'surrendering your agreement'. You should always try to agree this in writing in case there are problems later on. 

Think carefully before ending your agreement. If you leave before finding somewhere else to live, it might affect how much help you can get from the council to find somewhere else to live. 

If you have a fixed-term agreement

You can only end your agreement early if your landlord agrees or your rental agreement says you can - this is called a ‘break clause’. 

If you have a joint agreement the rules are more complex - you usually can’t use a break clause unless the other person agrees to do this.

Talk to an adviser if you have a joint agreement and only some of you want to use a break clause.

If you don’t have a fixed-term agreement or it’s ended

If you have a joint agreement, only one of you needs to give notice. This will end the agreement for both people.

Talk to an adviser if your agreement doesn’t say how much notice you need to give.

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