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Last edited 19 Jul 2019
An excluded occupier is someone who has limited rights to remain in a residential building, for example, a tenant who shares accommodation with the landlord, or who lives in the same building as the landlord while sharing accommodation with a member of the landlord’s family. The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 states that, in this context, accommodation refers to any room (i.e. living room, bathroom, kitchen), but not ancillary areas such as storage, hallways, stairways, and so on.
The landlord is not obliged to provide an excluded occupier with a contract, although it is still recommended that there is a written agreement setting out the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
The tenant must give reasonable notice to the landlord before leaving the property, typically at least seven days. If it is a fixed-term agreement, notice to leave cannot be given before the fixed term ends unless a clause in the agreement allows for this, or if both parties agree.
If the landlord wishes to evict an excluded occupier, they need only provide ‘reasonable notice to quit’. What is deemed ‘reasonable notice’ can depend on the length of time that the tenant has lived there, how often they pay rent, how quickly another tenant is required to move in by the landlord, and so on.
If the tenant refuses to leave after this notice period, an application to a court is not required, the landlord can simply change the locks on the tenant’s rooms. (The landlord must, however, give the tenant their possessions.)
An excluded occupier can also refer to the following:
- Someone who lives in a hostel that is council or housing association-run.
- Someone who does not pay any rent.
- A trespasser or squatter who is allowed to stay temporarily.
- A tenancy or licence granted to provide accommodation as asylum.
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