Licensing Schemes - Definition of an 'occupier'
Campaigning and Policy

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2 years ago

An occupier occupies a property. The person can be a tenant (eg. assured shorthold tenancy) or licensee (holiday let) or lodger (lives with the landlord).

When a local authority licensing scheme puts a licensing condition something like, 'Each occupier must be given written terms under which they occupy the property' - what do they mean by it?

Well! The definition of what they mean is found in the section 262 of the Housing Act 2004 (under which the authorities derive their mandate from). So, let me quote the actual bit here:

(6)In this Act “occupier”, in relation to premises, means a person who—

(a)occupies the premises as a residence, and

(b)(subject to the context) so occupies them whether as a tenant or other person having an estate or interest in the premises or as a licensee;

and related expressions are to be construed accordingly.

This subsection F1... has effect subject to any other provision defining “occupier” for any purposes of this Act. Unquote.

Therefore, a mere occupation is not sufficient to fall under the definition of an 'occupier'. He/she has to occupy plus be a 'tenant' or a 'licensee' or ' a person having an estate or interest'.

A tenant has an interest. So does a licensee. But, what about a 'person having an estate or interest'?

In my opinion, a 'person having an estate or interest' is not a mere occupier or a permitted occupier named on the tenancy agreement. How do derive it? Well! When we follow the legal route to end a tenancy (ie ending an estate or interest in the property) - we do not mention or address the right of a mere occupier or permitted occupier as they do not have an 'estate or interest' in the property.

This is my take on it. What is yours?

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