Excluded License Agreement

A license will usually be an excluded license if:

  • it is granted by a local authority to a homeless applicant for temporary accommodation
  • the let premises is a hostel
  • the landlord/licensor shares any of the accommodation with the licensee
  • it granted solely for holiday purposes
  • it is granted for other than moneys worth
  • there is no intention to create legal relations 
  • the license is granted to a property guardian

Licenses Granted to Homeless Applicants

Many landlords and letting agents provide accommodation to the local authorities for the purpose of proving temporary accommodation to homeless applicants. In many cases, the local authority may discharge their duties to the homeless applicant leaving the landlord or agent with the obligation to evict the occupant.

The courts have held that homeless applicants will not be subject to protection under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 when granted a licence to occupy accommodation under the following sections of the Housing Act 1996 [4]:

  • section 188 (accommodation pending inquiries), or
  • section 190 (duties to an applicant who has been found intentionally homeless).

Occupiers who are placed in interim accommodation while the authority is carrying out inquires into their homelessness application will be an excluded occupier [5].

If after having provided an applicant with temporary accommodation, the local authority accepts that it owes the main housing duty to the applicant and tells the applicant to continue to occupy the temporary accommodation for an indefinite period of time pending identification of suitable long-term accommodation, the applicant will be an occupier with basic protection under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 [6]. This means the landlord will require a possession order to lawfully evict the occupant.

A Hostel has a specific definition [1] and the licensee must share facilities with other occupiers, such as bathroom, toilet, cooking and cooking facilities.

Eviction

The term “excluded” refers to being excluded from protection from eviction under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This means that under an excluded license, the landlord (or licensor) does not have to give notice to the licensee and there is no requirement to obtain a possession order from a court to lawfully evict an excluded licensee. The landlord can simply take possession of the premises.

If the accommodation let is self-contained accommodation (i.e. toilet, bathroom, cooking facilities within the accommodation) then it highly unlikely that the occupant will hold an excluded license agreement in which they will be protected from eviction.

[1] s.622 of the Housing Act 1985

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