How NOT to Evict a Lodger!

NB this page contains some general legal information which is for guidance only and is not legal advice see - Disclaimer.

There is a lot of "advice" from people on forums telling worried live in landlords who might have a real problem lodger, or simply someone they're not getting along with that they want out, or even a lodger who isn't getting a great deal from their live in landlord, that lodgers can just be kicked out - News Flash - they can't!

With the exception of a lodger who is violent, threatening, extremely abusive or vandalising the home, in which case, gather as much evidence (for example, photos, diary accounts - including video, and witnesses) as possible, you can't simply kick out a lodger there and then!

A trick I learned from HMO landlords to persuade a reluctant tenant or lodger to move out (not so much for tenants renting a whole property, but letting a room as a lodger or in a shared house), is to offer some money or an incentive to make moving out easier (e.g. paying for removals or deposit/first month's rent for their next place). I once advised a lady who was stuck with an alcoholic depressive lodger who refused to even leave his room while she was there. She ensured he had somewhere else to go by paying for a guest house room for him for a couple of nights, giving the local authority and social services time to find him temporary housing. However, you don't necessarily need to be that generous; sometimes even very small bribes (such as cab fare) work!

I appreciate this might be the last thing you'd feel like doing under these circumstances, but this is for your benefit, and how much of a premium can you put on a peaceful home environment, especially if your family is affected too!

If a lodger is violent, or likely to become violent - dial 999 for the police emergency service and tell them that a person in your home is being violent (certainly tell them if they've hurt you or anyone else). However, do not listen to anyone who suggests forcibly ejecting the lodger! Aside from this being illegal if no one has been physically attacked, you are also putting yourself in even more danger if the lodger should overpower you or they had a weapon you didn't know about. You are only legally entitled to use just enough sufficient force to prevent an imminent physical attack. And unless you are dealing with a possibly violent lodger and have proof, you should not change the locks or take other steps to exclude the lodger until notice has expired and the letting agreement has therefore legally ended.

Get your own direct referral barrister, dealing with many legal matters, including landlord and tenant, for £25 a month with Litigation Warranty - no solicitor needed.

Likewise, do not dump the lodger's belongings outside - they are not your property (even if the lodger has caused damage or failed to pay rent), and until they are either back with the former lodger, or you've contacted the lodger (in writing, by recorded delivery or failing that, you've tried texting, emailing or even social media - any written means that can be saved as proof) but the lodger hasn't responded within a reasonable amount of time (usually 14 days) - you are legally responsible for them and can be held accountable for any damage or loss! See Spareroom - Stuck with your lodger's possessions which explains more about this situation.