Service occupiers

You are probably a service occupier if your home comes with your job, and either it is essential for you to live in that accommodation to do your job or your employment contract says that you must do so.

What are service occupiers?

Service occupiers include people who:

  • are employed as a live-in nurse, carer, nanny, au pair, or housekeeper
  • are members of the clergy 
  • work in a hotel, pub or restaurant and live on the premises 
  • are live-on-site caretakers, park or grounds keepers, or gardeners

Your contract probably says that your right to live in the accommodation ends when your employment ends.

An example of a service occupancy

If you are a teacher at a boarding school and part of your job involves supervising pupils during the evenings and at night, it could be written into your contract that you must live on the premises. In this case, you are probably a service occupier.

Service occupiers who lose their jobs

You must leave your accommodation when your employment ends.

The amount of notice you are given may be specified in your employment contract or service occupancy agreement. 

Your employer must get a court order to evict you if you do not leave after your notice period ends. This does not apply if you are an excluded occupier.

Making a homeless application

You can make a homeless application to the council if your employment ends and you have to leave your home but have nowhere else to go.

The council does not have to house all homeless people.

Find out more about who is eligible for help from the council.

Service occupiers and intentional homelessness

When you make a homeless application, the council doesn't have a duty to house you if it believes you deliberately did or didn't do something which caused you to lose your home.

This means that the council looks at the reasons why you left your job. 

If you were sacked from your job for misconduct, the council may decide that you made yourself homeless intentionally

But you should not be found intentionally homeless if, for example:

  • your contract had expired
  • you retired 
  • you were made redundant 
  • it was no longer reasonable for you to work there

Repairs to service accommodation

Your service occupancy agreement probably says which repairs your landlord is responsible for and which repairs you should carry out yourself.

Your landlord must make sure that the property is safe and fit for you to live in and is responsible for gas safety checks for all gas appliances in your home once a year.

Landlords are also responsible for ensuring that the electrical system and any electrical appliances that they supply are safe to use.

Find out more about problems with repairs.

Help and advice for service occupiers

Get advice if you are asked to leave your tied accommodation and are unsure of your rights.

Use Shelter's directory to find an adviser in your area or get legal advice from a solicitor.

Use the Law Society directory to find a solicitor near you.

Find out more from or Acas about employee rights.


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