What is the process in the UK for parents to evict an adult child that is living at home with them if he refuses to leave willingly?

  • Change the locks? (This is not an entirely facetious question; I would hope any answer would address why simply locking the person out of the home would out would not be an advisable or legal course of action.)
    – phoog
    Jul 13, 2015 at 3:57
  • You run the risk of a oxymoron when you talk of adult children.
    – Neil Meyer
    Mar 15, 2022 at 18:07

3 Answers 3


The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 defines an excluded tenancy as, amongst other things, a tenancy that is granted for other than money or money's worth ((7)(a)).

This means that someone who shares accommodation with the landlord does not have the protection from eviction that an ordinary tenant would have, as per Part 5.

You should seek advice from a legal professional before taking action to evict, however, there is nothing in the Protection from Eviction Act that protects an excluded tenancy. It would probably still be advised that you give reasonable notice.

  • What if the lodger doesn't pay rent? How quick would the landlords be able to evict them?
    – user607
    Jul 13, 2015 at 16:54
  • 1
    Ah. This is where I will refer you to legal counsel. The Act appears to be silent on the matter.
    – jimsug
    Jul 13, 2015 at 20:58
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  • This blog suggests 2 months warning, and claims the child can be treated as a squatter in the absence of a tenancy agreement.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 19, 2022 at 14:52

Property owners have the right, in general, to ask anyone to leave their property, and to use reasonable force if they fail to comply (note that in England and Wales there is no concept of 'criminal trespass').

If you have a tenancy agreement, there are clear laws regarding eviction, depending on the type of tenancy. If a tenant is paying (and continues to pay) rent but has no tenancy agreement, the rules are less clear but will generally be interpreted in favour of the tenant. If you are not paying rent, you are not a tenant (almost certainly, though see 'Formalities' in Wikipedia's article on Leases).

Minors also have some rights to remain at home, though this is complicated by the fact that parents have the legal right to make decisions for a child. However, if you are over 18 (the age of majority in England and Wales), you have the right to make your own decisions. The flip side of this is that you also have the responsibility for your own life, including earning your own living and providing shelter for yourself.

  • 1
    Actually, in terms of where you live, you get to make that decision at 16 not 18. I think parents can evict their 16 yo children. Mar 2, 2016 at 21:32
  • Minors do not have a right to remain at the home. Any parent can relinquish parental rights and make a problem child the responsibility of the state.
    – Neil Meyer
    Mar 15, 2022 at 18:04
  1. Ask them to leave
  2. Try mediation
  3. Use the Law

If you reach step 3 then the steps you take will depend on the status of the party being asked to leave (A) and they party staying (B):

  1. If A is a co-owner - tough, they have a right to be there.
  2. If A is a co-tenant of the same third party - tough.
  3. If A is a tenant of B then they can be evicted under the applicable law.
  4. If A is a boarder of B then they can be evicted under that applicable law.
  5. If A is or threatens violence to B then the police can intervene and a restraining order may suffice to keep A out.
  6. If A has no legal right to be there then if B asks them to leave and the do not then they are trespassing and the police can arrest them.
  7. If B is a tenant, they could relinquish their interest in the property by ending the lease (if a tenant); A then becomes the owner's problem.
  8. If B is an owner they can sell the property but if A has a legal right to possession (e.g. they are legally a tenant) then that would have to be transferred to the new owner.

See https://www.gov.uk/browse/housing-local-services

  • I think number 4 is relevant to my question. What would be the applicable law in this case then?
    – user607
    Jul 13, 2015 at 4:05
  • Sorry, you'll have to do your own research on that, I'm based in Australia.
    – Dale M
    Jul 13, 2015 at 4:05
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    @dale It's not obvious how/if the link you added supports the answer that you gave. Can you include some quotes to improve your answer?
    – jimsug
    Jul 13, 2015 at 7:31
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    6. The police are very unlikely to arrest them. Trespass is broadly a civil, not criminal matter. Trespass in E&W can be criminal - but even then it's not likely to serious enough to justify an arrest. B will have to use reasonable force to evict A in this case. Mar 2, 2016 at 21:34
  • Sorry to say, but [citation needed] for #6. I think that trespass in the U.K. Is civil, and barring breaches of criminal law act 1977 how could one be arrested? Mar 15, 2022 at 11:46

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