Excluded Tenancy Agreement (Lodgers Agreement)

When should this tenancy agreement be used?

This is for use if you are a resident landlord and you share living accommodation with your tenant. You must be resident in the premises immediately before signing the agreement and at the time the agreement ends.

What type of tenancy does this create?

This does not create an assured shorthold tenancy or a non shorthold assured tenancy. Instead, it creates an excluded tenancy which is outside the scope of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

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Do I need a different tenancy agreement?

This agreement can only be used if you are a resident landlord at the beginning and end of the tenancy. If that is not the case and your main home is elsewhere, then you will likely need an assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST).

If you need an AST and you are renting out individual rooms then normally the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement - Room Only is the appropriate form. If you are renting out an individual room and protecting your deposit through DepositGuard, then you should use the DepositGuard Room Only Tenancy Agreement.

Where you are renting out the entire property and you are protecting your tenant's deposit through DepositGuard, you should use the DepositGuard Compliant Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement instead. If you are using any other tenancy deposit scheme, then the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is appropriate.

The RLA also has a number of other types of tenancy agreement to cover different circumstances. If you are letting your property to a company or you need a non-assured tenancy agreement we have the right tenancy agreement for you.

How do I end this tenancy?

It is outside the scope of the Protection from Eviction provisions. This means that so long as you give the proper notice as required by the agreement you can evict the tenant without a court order. You must not actually do so when the tenant (or anyone else associated with the tenant) is present at the time as forcible removal is not allowed. This notice need not be in any particular format as long as it complies with the tenancy requirements or the common law notice requirements.

The normal four week minimum period of notice is not required either so for weekly tenancies for example, the notice period could be as little as one week long.

If you need assistance with identifying the notice period or preparing the notice then please contact the Landlord Advice Team for assistance.

Do I need to protect the deposit?

If you take a deposit it does not need to be protected under one of the Government deposit schemes.

Please Note

You must not use this agreement unless you actually share the accommodation. Simply sharing an access is not enough.

What do I need to do before I sign this agreement?

There are significantly less paperwork requirements on an excluded tenancy agreement compared to the standard assured shorthold tenancy agreement. Nevertheless, landlords need to comply with various pieces of legislation and to protect themselves and their property from a poor choice of tenant. Landlords should make sure they give the lodger the following:

  • a copy of the check-in inventory for the lodger to approve. Without a good inventory, it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to make deductions from the deposit for damages. A high quality inventory is something that the landlord can perform themselves if they wish and the RLA offers an online training course to help landlords learn how to do this. We also recommend landlords use the Inventory Plus app to produce detailed inventories with pictures.
  • the gas safety certificate for the property. By law, all landlords must ensure their gas appliances are safe every 12 months by having a Gas Safe Registered Engineer inspect the property. The landlord must provide an up to date copy to the tenant or face a fine and/or criminal sanctions.
  • instructions on how to use any appliances. The best way of making sure your tenant doesn't break your washing machine is letting them know how to work it properly!

Is there anything else I should consider?

Lodgers are not exempt from the Right to Rent legislation so landlord’s must perform the checks on the tenant's right to rent status prior to signing the agreement. Penalties for this are stiff and landlords of tenant’s without right to rent can face fines or even a prison sentence for failure to comply!

Taking in lodgers is likely to invalidate your contents insurance policies. Instead, specialist lodger insurance should be obtained.

If the landlord is sub-letting a flat, advertising rooms on sites like AirBnB is likely to breach the tenant covenants of their own leasehold agreement.

Furthermore, if the mortgage is not on a buy-to-let basis, the mortgagee should be notified if there is a lodger in the property. You may wish to consider whether a specialist mortgage arrangement is a better option in this case.

RLA Excluded Tenancy Agreement (Lodgers Agreement)

The RLA Excluded Tenancy Agreement (Lodgers Agreement) offers the following benefits:

  • Complete On-Screen - Fill in all your information on your PC using Adobe Reader and save it so you always have a record for your files.
  • Easy to Understand - The agreement is in plain English, meaning there is no jargon, gobbledygook and other confusing language.
  • Proven Protection - The RLA agreements are in widespread daily use and is widely acknowledged in the industry. They have protected landlords for many years.
  • Constantly Developed - As soon as Housing Law is changed, our tenancy agreement is updated by the RLA. Use in confidence that you will not fall foul of legislation.
  • FREE Telephone Support - Advice on any aspect of the tenancy lifecycle is available to RLA members.
  • Completion Instructions - Are available to assist you in completing the tenancy agreement.

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