Please Note: This Article is 9 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

Lodger Eviction – I recently gave notice to my lodger in writing. I have asked him when he is leaving so that I can collect his keys and we can check his room together. Despite this he is clearly avoiding me. His room is locked and still full and he’s away at the moment. If he doesn’t leave on his return what rights do I have to change locks and remove his belongings? Having lived with him for some time I know there could be trouble so please help.

As a lodger in your own home your occupier has a “licence to occupy” very much as a hotel guest would, so he has far fewer rights than a tenant and is therefore not protected by the Housing Acts or the Protection from Eviction Act.

However, you need to be careful.

If you give exclusive possession (a room with a lock which your question seems to imply) you could inadvertently create a legal tenancy, giving your occupier statutory protection. The crucial point is, does your tenant have exclusive (landlord is excluded) possession of any part of the property, namely his bedroom?

It does not matter what your agreement is called (lodger agreement, licence etc) it’s the situation that counts if it goes to court. If your tenant knows the law or seeks advice, exclusive possession could cause you problems.

You should try to negotiate and reach an amicable settlement with your lodger but if he refuses to leave or becomes violent you have two options: (1) apply to your local County Court for a possession order, or (2) self-evict.

If you are confident this is a true licence situation your lodger can be evicted by you, providing you have acted reasonably. Do not use actual force or threats of violence and you must have served a reasonable period of notice in-line with any agreement you used, which has now expired. Make sure your lodger is given plenty of reminders as the final notice date approaches.

You self-evict by changing the property locks when your lodger is out and by refusing re-entry.

Notify the police if you anticipate violence, and try to have them present when the lodger returns but they will not normally assist in evicting as this is a civil matter.

You will need to supply your lodger with his belongings on demand but on no account allow re-entry unless accompanied by the police. Alternatively you could place them in safe temporary storage.

©LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved – never rely totally on these standard answers which apply primarily to England and Wales. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of the case and all documents to hand.

Please Note: This Article is 9 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


  1. I intend to evict my lodger after giving him his 1 months notice , regardless of agreement they have now started to lock door I still have a key, and taking it with them, they were told verbally only allowed to lock when at home which since march they were doing. But I’ve finally had enough of their every day visitors to my home. I even told them no more guests but they now allow them in regardless. Can I enforce this as it’s my house my rules and what is legality of working from home when contract said not allowed but now pandemic says it is?
    I can’t take this for a further 3 weeks can I change lock on bedroom door or replace with bolt so they can no longer do this or insist they move to a different bedroom, I can see regardless of agreement they clearly didn’t understand legalities until I pointed it out when verbally serving notice and they told me they would stay until they found where I told them I don’t think so that locks will be changed at stated date as per rolling agreement that ended in july. And started 1 week b4 lockdown. They have only within last6 days locked bedroom when in and 2 weeks started locking me out Thinking it was only key.
    How do I make them leave if they don’t go or leave so I can remove there things and Change front door locks if they r still inside my home. Will police assist if they refuse to go?


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