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Check your rights if you're an occupier with basic protection

This advice applies to Wales

You might not have any documents that say you’re an excluded occupier - it’s based on your situation.

You’re an occupier with basic protection if for example:

  • you’re in supported accommodation and you’ve been there for less than 6 months
  • you applied as homeless and the council have given you ‘temporary accommodation’ with a private landlord

If you’re an occupier with basic protection, 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 you’re under 18 years old

You might be an occupier with basic protection if you and anyone else living with you is under 18 years old.

The rules are complicated - talk to an adviser.

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 has to get an order from the court to evict you.

If you have an end date for your rental agreement

If you have a fixed-term agreement, your landlord can only evict you if any of the following apply:

  • the fixed term has come to an end
  • it includes a ‘break clause’ - this lets your landlord end the fixed term early
  • 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 uses a break clause, or they make you move out because you’ve broken a term, they still have to give you the amount of notice set out in the agreement.

Your landlord has to get an order from the court to evict you.

The only situation where your landlord doesn’t have to get a court order is if both of the following apply:

  • no one in your home has a right to rent in the UK
  • the Home Office has sent your landlord a ‘disqualification notice’ - your landlord should show you the notice when they evict you

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

Your landlord must give you at least 28 days’ notice in writing if they want you to move out. If they don’t, the notice isn’t valid and you don’t have to leave.

If your rent period is longer than 28 days, you’ll get more notice - for example if your rent is due monthly, you’ll get 1 month’s notice instead.

If you agreed on a notice period that’s longer than 28 days, your landlord must give you the notice you agreed on.

Timing of notice for rental agreements without an end date

The notice is only valid if it ends on either the first or the last day of your client’s ‘rent period’. The rent period is the amount of time between rent payments - for example if your client has to pay rent monthly, their rent period is 1 month.

The start of your client’s rent period depends on the date the agreement with their landlord began. For example if the agreement began on the second of the month, the end of the notice would need to be either the second or the first of the month.

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 occupier with basic protection. 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 increase your rent only 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 written contract 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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