Service tenants

You might be a service tenant if you live in accommodation provided by your employer, but it's not essential for you to live in the property to do your job or your contract doesn't require you to live there.

Rights of service tenants

Service tenants usually have the same rights as other tenants. These rights depend on:

  • who your employer is
  • what kind of accommodation you're living in
  • what kind of tenancy agreement you have
  • how long you have lived there

For example, if you have a service tenancy and you:

You are probably an excluded occupier or an occupier with basic protection if you share accommodation with your employer.

If your rent cannot be calculated you are probably an occupier with basic protection

Use Shelter's directory to find an adviser in your area to help you to work out what type of tenancy you have.

An example of a service tenancy

A teacher who, as a key worker, is given a tenancy by a local council to live in the area where they work is likely to be service tenant. They do not have to live in the accommodation provided in order to do the job, unless the teacher's employment contract requires them to live in the accommodation and they can perform the job better by living there.

Rent payments in a service tenancy

You might pay rent to your landlord for accommodation or your rent may be deducted from your wages. Or you may get lower wages than you would normally get for the job you do because your employer provides you with accommodation. 

Although there is no requirement for you to pay rent in order to be a service tenant, you are likely to have fewer rights if the amount of rent you pay cannot be calculated. This is likely to be the situation if you get lower wages because you are provided with accommodation.

Repairs for service tenancies

Your service tenancy agreement probably sets out 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 safety checks on all gas appliances in the property once a year. 

Find out more about landlord and tenant responsibilities for repairs.

If a service tenant loses their job

If you are dismissed or resign from your job, your employer will probably ask you to leave your accommodation.

Your employer must follow the proper procedures for evicting you. In some circumstances you may be able to stay in the accommodation or be entitled to an offer of alternative accommodation.

You cannot stay in the accommodation if you have an assured shorthold tenancy or if you are an occupier with basic protection. However, your employer must:

  • send you a formal notice telling you when you have to leave
  • give you the correct amount of notice before you have to leave
  • get an eviction order from the court if you do not leave when the notice tells you to. In this situation, you are likely to have to pay your landlord's court costs

Get advice if you have a regulated, assured or secure tenancy. You might be able to stay in the accommodation or at least be offered alternative accommodation.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local advice centre.

Find out more about the procedures landlords have to follow to evict tenants.

Get help and advice

Get advice if you've been asked to leave your tied accommodation and you're not sure about your rights.

Use Shelter's directory to find an adviser in your area.

Contact the Law Society for legal advice and to find a solicitor near you.

Find out more  from or Acas about your rights as an employee.

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