Knowledge Hub


  1. The purpose of this page is to explain the main differences between a tenant and a lodger. Many landlords may use the words tenants and lodgers interchangeably when describing individuals renting and occupying their property, however they are very different terms of occupation and thereby it is important to know the differences between the two so as to avoid any complications.


  1. A lodger is someone who usually resides with the landlord and shares his home and living spaces such as bathrooms and kitchen. A lodger will usually have their own room but they live in the landlord’s home with their permission. Under this arrangement, the lodger agrees that they do not have the right to exclude the landlord from either the room they occupy to sleep in or for any other part of the property. In this respect, the main difference between a lodger and a tenant is that a lodger (legally known as a licensee) is someone who lives in the same property as the property owner.


  1. Generally, it is far easier to evict a lodger rather than a tenant and thereby as a landlord if your circumstances fit into this criteria then this would be the route to proceed under. However, if you are the occupier of the property and you wish to remain in the property for a period of time, you will need to consider whether or not your circumstances are that of a tenant which will provide to you far more security.
  1. If you are a lodger and you have a formal written agreement, your lodger agreement will typically state how much notice should be given before you can be asked to vacate the property. In the event no such notice has been agreed either in writing or otherwise, the law will require the landlord to provide reasonable notice. In this respect, reasonable notice will usually mean the length of the rental payment period. For instance, if you pay the rent on a monthly basis, then reasonable notice under such circumstances will be 1 months’ notice.


  1. By contrast, tenants are individuals who pay rent for a property to a landlord usually on a monthly basis and they usually have exclusive possession of a property and usually a landlord would not be resident within the property.


  1. If you are classed as a tenant, you not only have the right to remain in occupation of the property throughout the duration of any agreed term, but additionally there are strict notice periods of at least 2 months’ notice that a landlord will need to serve upon you in a prescribed form (please note a simple letter will not suffice) and even after the notice has expired, a tenant does not have to vacate the property without the landlord obtaining an Order from the Court. However, the landlord may have other options available to seek an end to the tenancy provided of course such circumstances exist and our offices can assist in this regard in assessing whether or not cases are suitable for alternative methods. If you are a tenant, there may be implications if you are evicted especially if rental arrears exist and thereby our offices can similarly assist in both sets of circumstances.
  2. If you are a landlord and you are considering renting your property out to either lodgers or tenants, there are many legal obligations that need to be considered and similarly if you are a tenant or lodger you will need to decide what is best for you in terms of your personal circumstances. In both cases, our offices are able to advise upon both landlords and tenants and lodgers in all circumstances.
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