Last edited 17 Feb 2021

Owner occupier

When the owner of a building also resides in it, they are referred to as the ‘owner occupier’.

An owner occupier may be the sole resident of a house. But if the property is part rented, the owner occupier will live alongside the tenant (who is an occupier) and will usually be paid rent by the tenant or tenants. In this case, the owner occupier is also the landlord and must assume the usual responsibilities and duties expected of a landlord, assuming that both are party to a rental contract (eg assured shorthold tenancy).

The same applies to flats: if the owner lives in the property, they are considered the owner occupier. It is immaterial whether the owner occupier has a mortgage and owes money on the property: they are still regarded as the property owner and therefore the owner occupier.

In theory, a company or corporation may also be an owner occupier. For example, in the case of an office building, the owner may use the entire building as offices. Or, they may occupy a section of the building and rent out the remaining floorspace to other companies (who are regarded as being tenants and occupiers). In both cases, the owner is also the owner occupier.

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