Your rights if you live with your landlord
If you have a resident landlord, you'll have a common law tenancy.
A common law tenancy is covered by the agreement you make with your landlord. You still have rights even if you do not have a written agreement.
If your landlord rents your home from someone else, they'll be subletting to you. Check your rights if you're a subtenant.
Check if you have a resident landlord
To count as a resident landlord, your landlord must:
use the property as their only or main home
be living there when you move in
have direct access from their accommodation to yours
For example, if you have a room in your landlord’s flat, and they can enter your room from a shared hallway, you have a resident landlord.
If you live in separate flats in the same building, you do not have a resident landlord.
If your landlord lives somewhere else and only stays with you occasionally, they may not count as a resident landlord.
Getting an agreement in writing
Ask your landlord to give you a written tenancy agreement. This is a contract that should say what your rights and responsibilities are, such as:
how much rent you pay
how long your tenancy is for
which room or area of the home you're renting
how much notice to give if you want to move out
if someone can move in with you
if you can give your tenancy to someone else
This is sometimes called a lodger agreement.
Download a sample lodger agreement (pdf, 134 kb)
Your landlord’s responsibilities
Respecting your privacy
Your tenancy agreement should say which rooms or areas only you can use. Your landlord should not enter them without your permission. This is called exclusive possession.
Your landlord is responsible for most repairs in your home.
Taking a deposit
If your landlord asks for a deposit when you move in, they cannot charge more than 2 months' rent.
Your landlord does not need to protect your deposit in a deposit scheme.
pay rent on time
take care of the property and keep it clean
tell your landlord if repairs need fixed
get permission from your landlord if you want to redecorate
give notice correctly if you want to move out
If you want to move out
Your tenancy agreement should say how much notice you must give. If it does not, you must give:
28 days’ notice if your fixed term was less than 1 year
40 days’ notice if your fixed term was 1 year or more
When you write to your landlord, make sure that the last day of your notice period is the same as the last day of your fixed term.
You can usually end your tenancy early if your landlord agrees. Get any agreements in writing so there are no misunderstandings.
If you want someone else to take over your tenancy, you'll need your landlord’s written permission.
If your landlord moves out
You'll automatically have a private residential tenancy, which gives you stronger rights. Your landlord is responsible for giving you the correct agreement.
If your landlord does not give you a new tenancy agreement when they move out, check our advice on getting a private residential tenancy agreement.
If your landlord asks you to leave
If your landlord wants you to move out they must follow the correct process. You can negotiate for more time if you need it.
Check our advice on eviction if you live with your landlord.
Last updated: 9 August 2022