This article consists of information intended to help tenants with resident landlords to understand their legal rights. As a tenant with a live-in landlord you have less legal rights due to you being a resident in your landlord’s home. The following information applies exclusively to England. Laws may differ if you are a tenant in another part of the UK. If you live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland give Roskell Davies a call today and we will give you legal advice which is tailored to your location.
Rights For Tenants With Resident Landlords
The type of rights you possess if you have a live-in landlord depend on whether or not you are classified as an excluded occupant. This will be dependant firstly on whether you live with your landlord or a member of you landlord’s family. If you do, and you share living space with them – you are likely to be an excluded occupant. So if you rent a room in a flat and share the bathroom with your landlord – you are probably an excluded occupant. There are also other circumstances which could mean you are an excluded occupant but these are not going to be examined here.
Eviction: If you are an excluded occupant, you have very few rights compared to other tenants. This is because you are sharing your landlord’s home. Your landlord can evict you extremely easily. They have the right to ask you to leave at any time – as long as they give reasonable notice. This notice period may be in line with how often you pay your rent – so if you pay weekly rent, a week’s notice would be sufficient. Alternatively it may be written into you tenancy agreement.
Unlike with other tenants, this notice does not legally need to be written notice, your landlord can also give you verbal notice. When you have been given notice by your live-in landlord, if you do not leave the property before the notice period is up, they have a right to change the locks. However, they do not have the right to keep your possessions, these must be returned to you. They also do not have the right to use violence against you at any time during the eviction.
If you are not an excluded occupant, your landlord must obtain a court order to evict you if you do not leave the property during the specified notice period.
Rent: Unlike protected tenants, if you have a resident landlord you cannot dispute rent increases. You have the right to have your rent set at the agreed amount for the agreed time outlined in your tenancy but after this time the rent can change according to your landlord’s wishes. For all tenants who are paying weekly rent – the landlord must provide a rent book.
Repair: you have the right to live in a property which is habitable. Your landlord must keep the property in good repair. For example they must provide fire resistant furniture and provide instructions for all appliances.