In Day 20 of my 21 days of tips for lodger landlords, I described a procedure for evicting lodgers without getting a court order. When exactly can this be used?
The answer to this lies in the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This is the act which says that all eviction of residential occupiers must be done through the courts, and that if a residential occupier is evicted without a court order, then this is a criminal offence. (Note that in this post I will use the word ‘occupier’ a this covers both lodgers and tenants).
However the act recognises that not always be appropriate to force someone to get a court order for possession, and sets out a number of exceptions to the general rule.
These are set out in section 3 of the Act, and they are known as ‘excluded tenancies and licenses’. They include:
- where the occupier (whether or not he or she is a tenant) shares living accommodation with the landlord, and
- where the landlord was living at the property as his main (or ‘principal’) home and sharing living accommodation with the occupier from immediately before the occupier started living there to the time when the occupation ends, and
- the shared accommodation is not just storage areas, halls, corridors or staircases, as these don’t count. It must be proper living accommodation such as a sitting room, kitchen, and/or bathroom (and preferably more than just one room).
Excluded tenancies and licenses also include those granted for a holiday, so the procedure given on Day 20 will apply also if you provide B&B accommodation to holiday makers.
Note that if you have let accommodation in your home which is entirely self contained (and which is not holiday accommodation let to someone on a genuine holiday), then you *will* need a court order. For more information on this, see my Landlord Law web-site.