The Right to Dwell : On the character of an ‘Excluded occupier’

In England,

‘ You are likely to be an Excluded Occupier if you:

  • share accommodation with your landlord;
  • live in the same building as your landlord and share accommodation with a member of your landlord’s family;
  • live in your accommodation for a holiday;
  • do not pay any rent for your accommodation.

Excluded occupiers have very few tenancy rights. It is important to remember how easy it is for your landlord to evict you. It may be difficult for you to get repairs done or to argue against rent increases. 

As an excluded occupier your only right is to stay until your landlord asks you to go, or for as long as your written agreement says. Your landlord can evict you by giving you reasonable notice  – which can be verbal – and doesn’t need a court order .’

[ Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity _ http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/sharing_and_subletting/excluded_occupiers ]

An Excluded Occupier is not a Tenant, he is a guest at the mercy of a landlord.

An Excluded Occupier does not have the freedom to speak up nor to express opinions different from those of the Master; he is deprived of the ‘right of reply’ as living in fear of a devious revenge eviction approved by law.

An Excluded Occupier has no privacy in the house he lives in, everything is allowed if the Master has decided it; the unaware guest struggles to escape from a permanent insecurity that keeps him poised between the road and a warm bed to sleep in.

An Excluded Occupier breathes the amount of air that the Master has decided to grant him, he stands on tiptoe moving in a space that clearly does not belong to him.

An Excluded Occupier has the right to pay monthly, but if any of his words would one day disappoint the Master’s thoughts, he might be suddenly robbed of his right to dwell with the cold breath of an informal notice.

(*) The article was written after being evicted  because of a verbal dispute about the landlord’s negligence in carrying out his cleaning duties. An easy hand-written notice forced me to find a new accommodation in two weeks time and leave quickly the flat where I lived for three years. A senseless law allows this.

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