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Lodger Agreement

Last revision Last revision 05/03/2024
Formats FormatsWord and PDF
Size Size5 to 7 pages
4.5 - 171 votes
Fill out the template

Last revisionLast revision: 05/03/2024

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 5 to 7 pages

Option: Help from a lawyer

Rating: 4.5 - 171 votes

Fill out the template

What is a lodger agreement?

A lodger agreement is an agreement that grants permission for a person to occupy a room within a residential property. This lodger agreement is an agreement that can be used for properties in England.


What are the different types of lodger agreements?

A different type of lodger agreement may be used for properties in Scotland.


What is the difference between a lodger agreement and a tenancy agreement?

A lodger agreement is different from a tenancy agreement. A tenant will have particular rights under a tenancy agreement (including protection from unfair eviction).

A tenant will enjoy exclusive occupation of the relevant space, whereas a lodger will only have the right to use a certain space or room, in common with the owner. This means the owner (landlord) will retain the right to enter the room or space occupied by the lodger in all circumstances.


Is it mandatory to have a lodger agreement?

No. It is possible for a landlord to allow a person to live in a room of a property without a formal written agreement. However, it is always best to set out an agreement in writing so that the lodger and the landlord have a clear understanding about the agreement.

In particular, the agreement will help the lodger to understand the extent of the agreement and the terms of occupation. It can be helpful in order to confirm that the lodger does not have the status of a tenant (and therefore has fewer rights).


What is a 'licence to occupy'?

The formal legal term for a lodger agreement is a 'licence to occupy'. A licence is an agreement that permits a person to do something. A licence to occupy is therefore gives permission for a person to occupy a space or part of a property. A licence is different to a tenancy agreement, which creates a legal interest in the property and provides a tenant with particular rights.

A different type of licence agreement should be used for a licence to occupy in a business/commercial setting.


What must a lodger agreement contain?

The lodger agreement should:

  • Include a term granting a licence to occupy – this will grant the lodger permission to occupy the room
  • Include the terms of occupation - this will define the room or rooms that the lodger is permitted to occupy and the facilities that will be available to them
  • Specify the term of the agreement - the term clause will explain the duration of the agreement and how long the lodger is permitted to use the room
  • Define the payment terms - this will explain how much money (board) the lodger must pay to use the room, and how frequently the payment must be made. The agreement will also specify whether the cost of utilities (such as gas, electricity and water are included within the board figure or whether an additional sum will be payable for those costs
  • Include a notice period – this will explain how much notice each party must provide to bring the agreement to an end


What are the prerequisites of a lodger agreement?

Before the start of a lodger agreement, the landlord should:


Who can enter into a lodger agreement?

The landlord must have the authority to let the room, so they must either own the property or have a legal right or interest in the property. The landlord should ensure that they have the relevant permission to let the room, which will include permission from a mortgage lender (if the property is owned) or from their landlord (if the property is rented).

The lodger should be over the age of 18 and must have the right to rent a room in the United Kingdom.


Who cannot enter into a lodger agreement?

A person who is under 18 should not generally sign a lodger agreement. A landlord should not grant a lodger agreement to a person if they do not have the right to rent a room in the United Kingdom.


What can be the duration of a lodger agreement?

The parties can agree for a lodger agreement to be in place for a fixed period of time, or they can agree that there will be no specified end date. In any event, there will be a provision for the parties to give notice to terminate the agreement.


What has to be done after signing?

After the document has been signed by both parties, each party should retain a signed copy. The lodger may then occupy the space under the terms of the agreement.


What documents should be attached to the lodger agreement?

The owner will either attach a schedule of condition to the agreement or provide a copy of this separately to the lodger.


Are there any other formalities for finalising the lodger agreement?

The parties might wish to finalise the agreement independently, by reviewing the terms and signing the document.

The lodger agreement is not reviewed by a lawyer to ensure that the legal content applies to the personal situation of the parties.

In order to review the particulars of the agreement, it will be necessary to instruct a lawyer. It will be necessary to consult with a lawyer who is regulated by an approved regulator in the legal services sector. It is possible to search for a lawyer using the Law Society – find a solicitor webpage.


Which laws apply to a lodger agreement?

The case of Street v Mountford [1985] 2 All ER 289 examined the distinction between a licence to occupy and a tenancy agreement. General guidance about this distinction is available on the Shelter website. A tenant under a tenancy agreement will have more legal rights than a lodger.

The following legal provisions are also relevant:

A property owner should also consider safety/legal requirements relating to:


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