An excluded tenancy agreement is a type of rental agreement where the tenant does not have the protection of most tenants who are in assured tenancy agreements or regulated tenancy agreements.
In general, this means that the landlord has more power to evict the tenant without going through the usual legal process. Excluded tenancy agreements are typically used in situations where the tenant shares living space with the landlord, such as in a roommate situation. It is important for tenants in an excluded tenancy agreement to understand their rights and responsibilities.
When should you use an excluded tenancy agreement?
If you have a tenant who you are living with as a landlord, then you have to make sure you use an excluded agreement. Assured tenancies cannot be used as an excluded tenancy agreement because legally, assured tenants must have exclusive right of their own space. Whether that be in a single let property or a HMO, tenants must be able to live in their space without a landlord being able to enter.
In an excluded tenancy agreement, this isn’t the case and a tenant is seen as an excluded occupier because they share the same facilities with the landlord and it is the landlord’s primary place of residence.
Typically, lodging agreements are for excluded tenants, however, it may not be written in a tenancy agreement as some landlords will just call it an excluded tenancy agreement. You will have to speak to your landlord to figure out the details.
What should landlords know about excluded tenancy agreements?
When a landlord signs a tenant in an excluded tenancy agreement, while they are able to enter the room they are staying in and the landlord doesn’t have to give a court order for eviction, there are still basic things that the landlord has to consider such as if the property they are letting out is safe and providing the correct documents to rent a flat.
What should tenants know about excluded tenancy agreements?
Tenants who are excluded typically will need to understand the rules that must be followed by a landlord. These rules will have to be agreed within the excluded tenancy agreement they have signed.
As an example, one excluded occupier could have an excluded tenancy licence which needs to expire in order for a landlord to evict them. Whereas, another could have a periodic tenancy which is easy to end without a notice.
Standard tenancy agreement vs. excluded tenancy agreement
Standard tenancy agreement templates usually follow the rules of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST). This means the tenant is able to occupy the property with exclusive right to their room or their entire premises, depending on their agreement.
Some agreement state that an assured tenant has exclusive right of just your room where is others state a talent as the right to the entire property.
Either way, a standard tenancy agreement gives tenants the right to quiet enjoyment in their home. This is completely different to excluded tenancies as landlords can enter a room the tenant lives in as and when they please. Because of the lack of rules in an excluded tenancy, it is rare for them to continue into the long term.
On top of this, there are other rules, particularly when it comes to planned preventative maintenance which may include making sure there are valid energy performance certificates, electrical safety certificates and gas safety certificates aren’t necessary in excluded tenancy agreement but are necessry in others.
How does it work out if you share accommodation with your landlord?
If you share accommodation with a landlord then you are an excluded tenant. This may involve sharing the shared areas of the house such as the kitchen, living space or garden the landlord would also have to use this space as their primary source of residence for this to be an excluded tenancy.
A lot of the time, excluded tenancies are where a tenant is living potentially part-time or full-time with a landlord who needs services outside of just rent.
For example, if a landlord is an older person and they require care and help around the house, it is common for an excluded tenant to live with them and help with their habitability. Their work in the property can be used as part of the value they bring to the landlord in order for them to benefit from a subsidised rent.
What are a tenant’s rights in an excluded agreement?
Despite the rules around excluded tenancy agreements being more relaxed, there are still mandatory rules that a landlord has to follow In an excluded tenancy agreement. These rules include:
- “Reasonable” notice to end the tenancy which follows your rental period
- The provision of safety facilities like safe boilers and appliances
- Working gas and electricity in the premises
- The right to reasonable treatment without harassment or abuse
If a landlord doesn’t abide by these rules in the agreement, then a tenant can take a landlord to court which may result in conviction. However, because some of these requirements are quite vague there is often littel a tenant can do but move on.
The rules around renting for excluded occupiers must be based on whatever the landlord agrees to let the room out for. Usually, there is a marker rent that must be followed so the landlord cannot charge too much above the average rent of the area.
However, if they do charge significantly higher than the average rents, the landlord will struggle to rent the property anyway due to a lack of demand of people wanting to pay for the rent at a higher price.
Typically, in order to set up rental payments, a landlord will set up an excluded agreement where the tenant pays monthly or sometimes weekly so they can can keep their excluded rights to the property.
Repairs and maintenance
Repairs and maintenance may be mandatory in a property where there is an excluded tenancy. Particularly if there is a tenant who has moved into a room in a property that structurally needs extensive repair such as if there is damp or mould or there is severe damage.
However, these repairs do not need to be carried out to the same extent and where the landlord has the same level of responsibility as if the property was being let out in a standard tenancy. In the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1954, section 11 states that a landlord has a duty to keep a property in good repair.
As a result, landlords only have to keep up with less strict health and safety requirements such as those found in the Housing Health & Safety Rating System. These relate to more relaxed gas safety electrical safety and Energy Performance rules. For exactly what they are, this link will take you straight to the government website.
Because of the relaxed laws of an excluded tenancy agreement, it may be possible for a tenant to negotiate any repairs away from the rent if they are experiencing significant disruption.
No right to a quiet home
Because excluded tenancy agreements are not assured tenancies. Tenants do not enjoy the same rights to a quiet home, as a result, if a landlord enters your room unexpectedly in an excluded tenancy agreement, there is little you can do about it.
Having said this, if you find that a landlord is unnecessarily entering a property, you could end the tenancy agreement or there are also options to contact the local authority to make sure the landlord is reported and there are areas and boroughs in the UK that have specialised services for landlords and tenants to come to agreements about their disputes. Click here for more information on this.
Rules around eviction
Usually, a landlord cannot evict a tenant straight away in an excluded agreement. This means they will need to be given the same notice period as the period in which rent they are paying rent, for example, if a tenant is paying rent every week, then a landlord can evict a tenant in an excluded tenancy agreement within a week.
The landlord also doesn’t have to go to court to evict you and the one week notice period if you are paying rent every week or 1-month notice period if you are paying rent every month is a reasonable notice to quit.
In addition to this, The landlord doesn’t have to put this in writing in the notice to quit. Furthermore, this is only a “reasonable” thing to do and there is no legislation that protects this. A tenant’s best hope at convicting a landlord they feel has treated them unfairly is to inform their local authority or go to a local court about their unreasonable treatment.
In conclusion, excluded tenancy agreements can be a source of potential conflict and inconvenience for both landlords and tenants Because of their relaxed rules. It is important for both parties to carefully consider the potential risks and drawbacks before entering into this type of agreement as some will certainly prefer stricter guidelines.