Home > Managing Tenants > How Do You Evict a Lodger Who Doesn't Want to Leave?

How Do You Evict a Lodger Who Doesn't Want to Leave?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 13 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Lodger Evict Eviction Notice To Quit

Getting a lodger in seems like the perfect solution if you have a spare room and need to make a bit of cash – but if the lodger turns into a pain, and you want your room back, what can you do if they appear to be stuck fast?

If you are living in the same place as your lodger, have lived there for the duration of your lodger’s stay and you share parts of the living accommodation with them (shared kitchen facilities for example) then you can take action to remove them. If your lodger only uses one room, such as a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom, never uses the kitchen or living room, and has a lock on the door that means you can’t enter it, you need to take separate advice as the information won’t apply to you.

Make sure that you don’t try and unlawfully evict a lodger because if you do, not only can they get an injunction to be allowed back in, even if you’ve changed the locks, but they can sue you for financial losses and other compensation.

Give Your Lodger Notice to Quit

Your first step in reclaiming your spare room is to give the lodger official notice to quit. The standard notice period when you ask a lodger to leave is 28 days or more, and it should end at the end of their rental period. For example, if their agreement is weekly Saturdays to Fridays, the notice period should end on the first Friday after the 28 days have expired.

If the notice to quit hasn’t worked and the lodger is refusing to leave, that’s when things start to get tricky. If they are a student, complain to their college or university and ask the accommodation office if they will get involved. Sometimes employers or family members can also help, but if that’s not appropriate, you will have to get formal.

Evicting a Lodger

If you have given the notice to quit and the notice period has expired with no sign of movement, you can start eviction proceedings.Just before the official date that the notice to quit expires, casually enquire when they intend to move out. If they tell you there’s problems with new accommodation and ask for a few days grace, it’s acceptable to agree to this within reason. If your lodger says that they don’t intend to leave, you are well within your rights to have the locks changed when your lodger is out. Prior warning of this isn’t necessary – or indeed advisable – it avoids the problem of said lodger deciding to stay in on the day you have the locks changed!

You may then refuse entry to your lodger. If they cause trouble, you can ask for police assistance, but don’t let them back in. Don’t use any force against them at all, because that puts you in the wrong with the law instead. If they claim to have nowhere to go – it’s not your problem as long as you’ve given them the correct amount of notice.

Of course, the outgoing lodger is entitled to have their property returned. You can arrange to do this, but don’t under any circumstances agree to let the lodger back in alone to retrieve anything. You must also take care not to damage any of their property. If they have caused a scene and you’ve had to call the police out, consider asking whether they will accompany the lodger while they pack.

If you still have problems with the lodger trying to get into the property after you’ve changed the locks, you can ask for an injunction, but you’ll need specialist legal advice if it comes to that.

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Stewie - Your Question:
I have a lodger who refusesto leave. She was the one who gave her notice, I did not force her to leave. On the day she was supposed to move out, she changed her mind. Now she's still here. She's been a nightmare for the past few days. She told me she will leave scratches on the wall of her rented room and she threatened me that I will pay a price and that she will make my life a living hell. She also said she will stay here forever and will pay nothing. What can I do to make her leave? Her notice is up, shall I change the locks? Thank you

Our Response:
You can see more via the CAB link here which will tell you what your lodger's rights are and what you can do in the circumstances.
ThePropertyLandlord - 13-Jul-17 @ 3:13 PM
I have a lodger who refusesto leave. She was the one who gave her notice, i did not force her to leave. On the day she was supposed to move out, she changed her mind. Now she's still here. She's been a nightmare for the past few days. She told me she will leave scratches on the wall of her rented room and she threatened me that i will pay a price and that she will make my life a living hell. She also said she will stay here forever and will pay nothing. What can i do to make her leave? Her notice is up, shall i change the locks? Thank you
Stewie - 13-Jul-17 @ 2:00 AM
i have a house i let rooms in and has become problematic as council said it is an hmo and ordered i carry out some work there ie different locks doors the tenants single males became awful refusing to let me do the work and got abusive they are so rude to me im a 50 year old woman anyway i served them a months notice in front of council officer who set out the work i cant carry out , the one tenant has upset others smaked canabis on my premises and has stopped paying his rent shelter sent me a letter saying he doesnt need to leave , i am going to move in there and when notice has run out if he4 doesnt leave i will change locks i dont care i will go to court its appalling this man can do what he likes and stay for free cause looked after by the law ....any feedback please ?
jo - 25-Mar-17 @ 8:35 AM
@zena - she might be able to bring her to account over the fact she kicked her out of her home without notice. Your friend needs to check her tenancy agreement. Pete.
PVF54 - 22-Feb-17 @ 9:47 AM
A friend of mine, in california, is a single lodger renting a room from the homeowner, my friend has a young child and recently the homeowner(who is the landlady and lives there) has been complaining about the mess in my friend's room, and gets into the room unannounced to inspect, verbally harassing my friend accusing her of living like a pig and attracting roaches and no matter what she does to please the demanding homeowner nothing is good enough, she feels bullied and feel helpless her depression got worse and she lost appetite and got IBS all due to the prolonged stress, last thing she got into a quarrel with the landlady after she demanded absurd things with a very short deadline(impossible to meet) then the landlady told her she should've not rented someone with a child and asked her to leave ON THE SPOT! it was midnight on a cold night and she didn't take her keys but locked the door on the inside, my friend had a panic attack and went to the ER and they called the cops to take her back home, my question is: can she sue the landlady for harassment, verbal assault leading to emotional damage and child endangerment(since she kicked her out with the child at midnight with no place to go)? Please advise
zena - 21-Feb-17 @ 6:32 AM
I have a property which was passed to my children by my late mother in her will. since 1996 I have let my brother & his family stay there as they had no where to go. they have never paid any rent since they have been at the property. now they have a home to go, how can I get them to vacate the property legally?
b - 7-Sep-16 @ 12:42 AM
Upset Homeowner - Your Question:
Hi, I have a Lodger staying in my primary home and was renting a room from me since July 2015. I do have a sighed contract with her, and we do share all common areas. As of today (March 2nd) she's is delinquent in paying January and February's rent, On February 1st I presented her with the 30 day if eviction notice and even tried to work with her stating in the eviction notice that "if she was to pay the full amount of $1060.00 by February 15 that the eviction notice would be voided. Since then she has made faults promises and has disappeared not coming home for this several days at a time. On Friday, February 27 I have a conversation with her regarding her lack of pavement or concerns she swore and promised up-and-down that she was going to be able to pay me in full that same day. I haven't heard from her since Friday, February 27, no phone calls,no messages, no text messages, no nothing. Although she does text message and Facebook's with my son. Which tells me she does have communication to get a hold of me. In the 30 day eviction notice, I stated that after March 1st I would be changing all the locks and all the pass codes to the security alarms systems and as of March 1st to considered herself evicted and liable to trespassing. I also wrote in the eviction notice if she didn't pay by the 15th of Feb. to consider February 1 as the beginning of her 30 day notice to vacate my premises. Since today is March 2 i've already changed all the locks and pass codes to my security system. My question is. Since she decided not to get a hold of me knowing she was going to be evicted as of March 2nd for non payment of two months due rent, but left her property (clothing, unassembled bed, mattress, Computer, pictures in her room, can I take it upon myself to pack her personal belongings in trashbags and put them in the garage for her to pick up? I know that her clothing pictures mattress are exempt from me keeping. But can I keep the computer and her bed and nonessentials go towards the backpay she owes?? Also how long do I need to keep them in stores before they're considered abandoned?

Our Response:
As we are a UK-based site, we cannot answer your question as the laws differ from country to country.
ThePropertyLandlord - 2-Mar-16 @ 2:31 PM
Hi, I have a Lodger staying in my primary home and was renting a room from me since July 2015. I do have a sighed contract with her, and we do share all common areas. As of today (March 2nd) she's is delinquent in paying January and February's rent,On February 1st I presented her with the 30 day if eviction notice and even tried to work with her stating in the eviction notice that "if she was to pay the full amount of $1060.00 by February 15 that the eviction notice would be voided. Since then she has made faults promises and has disappeared not coming home for this several days at a time. On Friday, February 27 I have a conversation with her regarding her lack of pavement or concerns she swore and promised up-and-down that she was going to be able to pay me in full that same day. I haven't heard from her since Friday, February 27, no phone calls,no messages, no text messages, no nothing. Although she does text message and Facebook's with my son. Which tells me she does have communication to get a hold of me. In the 30 day eviction notice, Istated that after March 1st I would be changing allthe locks and all the pass codes to the security alarms systems and as of March 1st to considered herself evicted and liable to trespassing. I also wrote in the eviction notice if she didn't pay by the 15th of Feb. to considerFebruary 1 as the beginning of her 30 day notice to vacate my premises. Since today is March 2 i've already changed all the locks and pass codes to my security system. My question is... Since she decided not to get a hold of me knowing she was going to be evicted as of March 2nd for non payment of two months due rent, but left her property (clothing, unassembled bed, mattress, Computer, pictures in her room, can I take it upon myself to pack her personal belongings in trashbags and put them in the garage for her to pick up? I know that her clothing pictures mattress are exempt from me keeping. But can I keep the computer and her bed and nonessentials go towards the backpay she owes?? Also how long do I need to keep them in stores before they're considered abandoned?
Upset Homeowner - 2-Mar-16 @ 7:46 AM
Hi hoping for some advise. I took in a lodger late last year and my circumstances have changed and I have decided to rent the property but not to the lodger. When I told her this she wasn't very happy. I have given her notice to leave - 5 weeks. She has her own business - an online health magazine. I have sinced discovered that she has used my property as her registered address with companies house which I never agreed to. Unfortunately there is no contract in place. I feel very uncomfortable with her around and would like her to leave before the end of the date I originally gave her. I'm also not happy about her using my property as a registered address and intend to speak to her about it but want to know what rights I have as a live in landlord. Many thanks.
Ellbee - 21-Jan-16 @ 6:23 AM
Hi i have 2 lodgers as a couple on housing benefit and have a lodger agreement, for them both which says no maximum or minimum term but 2 weeks notice required, i have served them both notice in writtingdue to a change in my circumstances and since doing this i have been threatened and intimidated and disturbed when in bed and they are bein a general neisence, ive had police involvment who said i cant get them out befour notice is over and they cant do anything unless damage or violence happens, council also says i need legal advice as told them what was happening and said i was prepared to make them homeless, i feel so alone and have no support from any authority to get these people out my house as i sure they in breech of there tenancy agreement, any information helpfull
Ali - 10-Dec-15 @ 1:40 AM
Nightmare - Your Question:
I am a student live in landlord who has a major problem with one of my lodgers. He has been smoking cannabis in his room repeatedly, is a major alcoholic who we have heard having anger outbursts (shouting and slamming furniture), is currently in rent arrears, and a few days ago I gave him 2 weeks notice to leave via email. I just want to make absolutely sure I am not doing anything illegal here, so I will give as many circumstances as I can:He shares absolutely everything in the house with me, the homeowner. So this means kitchen, bathroom, living room, garden, entrance hall, staircase.I was away over the summer for 2 months (work experience abroad), and I have been back about 6 weeks, but this is my registered home address.He has a lock on his room that he has started using since I gave him notice - I did have a spare key (as I have spare keys for all the other rooms in the house as well) but it seems to have gone missing.He has been living here for 4 months now, so I just want to double check if he classes as a lodger so I know which eviction process to follow.Any advice would be tremendously helpful as I am at my wit's end here.

Our Response:
As specified in the article, if you have given the notice to quit and the notice period has expired with no sign of movement, you can start eviction proceedings. Just before the official date that the notice to quit expires, casually enquire when they intend to move out. If they tell you there’s problems with new accommodation and ask for a few days grace, it’s acceptable to agree to this within reason. If your lodger says that they don’t intend to leave, you are well within your rights to have the main locks changed when your lodger is out. The CAB link here, should also let you know your lodger's rights, link here. If you need any specific advice, please see Just Answer link here. I hope this helps.
ThePropertyLandlord - 5-Nov-15 @ 12:27 PM
I am a student live in landlord who has a major problem with one of my lodgers. He has been smoking cannabis in his room repeatedly, is a major alcoholic who we have heard having anger outbursts (shouting and slamming furniture), is currently in rent arrears, and a few days ago I gave him 2 weeks notice to leave via email. I just want to make absolutely sure I am not doing anything illegal here, so I will give as many circumstances as I can: He shares absolutely everything in the house with me, the homeowner. So this means kitchen, bathroom, living room, garden, entrance hall, staircase. I was away over the summer for 2 months (work experience abroad), and I have been back about 6 weeks, but this is my registered home address. He has a lock on his room that he has started using since I gave him notice - I did have a spare key (as I have spare keys for all the other rooms in the house as well) but it seems to have gone missing. He has been living here for 4 months now, so I just want to double check if he classes as a lodger so I know which eviction process to follow. Any advice would be tremendously helpful as I am at my wit's end here.
Nightmare - 4-Nov-15 @ 3:42 PM
I have a Tennant whose contract finished on first of June I have sent his notice to leave as he is on a weekly contract after this date at my discretion.he is being quite verbal .I have discovered he has a registered business from the propertywithout permission and has been using it as a tattoo parlour.the property is very untidy and he is hoarding rubbish what are my rights I gave him one months notice from the first of august and asked him to remove all his property .anything left after this time would be disposed of .have I done the right thing .
Rosie - 29-Jul-15 @ 9:58 PM
@charmaine - you need to change the locks and not let him back in!
Chris - 1-Jun-15 @ 2:52 PM
I asked my lodger to leave he said not a problem he would leave on the 30,, on the 30th I gave his deep bk, and then he refused to go,I called the police let him stay and told me it was OK for this lodger to move his girlfriend in, and there is nothing I could do
charmaine - 28-May-15 @ 5:18 PM
@Rainbeau - you need to take the advice laid out in the article. If it gets to the stage where he refuses to leave then as specified you are well within your rights to have the locks changed when your lodger is out. Prior warning of this isn’t necessary – or indeed advisable – it avoids the problem of said lodger deciding to stay in on the day you have the locks changed. You may then refuse entry to your lodger. If they cause trouble, you can ask for police assistance, but don’t let them back in. Don’t use any force against them at all, because that puts you in the wrong with the law instead. If they claim to have nowhere to go – it’s not your problem as long as you’ve given them the correct amount of notice. I hope this helps.
ThePropertyLandlord - 8-Apr-15 @ 12:41 PM
I have a lodger in my home that I also live in, who a few weeks ago got abusive after drinking, slammed doors really hard and said words to abhorrent to repeat! Since then the atmosphere has been terrible although after I was away for 2 weeks. I am back now although I'm going abroad fopr over a month and I want him out. He doesn't have a license to occupy contract, he is not on a contract at all. I took £400 bond off of him when he moved in. He pays weekly. He gave me a months notice to move out, I do not want him here that long. So today I said "he has week, he needs to be out by Sat 11th". He said "he isn't going to move out, and how am I going to make him"? I thought as I am a live in Landlord I have the right to get him out? There isn't a contract to serve? Some advise would be very appreciated. Thank you.
Rainbeau - 5-Apr-15 @ 8:44 PM
My partner moved in three months ago, to my sole owned house, he hasn'tf financially contributed at all, the relationship isn't working and I have asked him to leave but he is refusing, what can I do legally to get him out, Can I legally just change the locks ?
Lizzie - 23-Nov-14 @ 10:28 AM
We've got similar problem..., we gave them verbal notice a month ago and written one almost a week ago. The last one was for a week only. We don't have any written agreements between us, it was verbal only. I couldn't understand from that article is it important the notice to be written as we have verbal agreements only.
digigi - 18-Jul-14 @ 10:51 PM
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