If you live in accommodation provided by your employer, your rights depend on whether you have to live there to do your job
Service occupier or tenant
As a service occupier or service tenant, you will live in accommodation provided by your employer.
You might pay rent to your landlord for accommodation or your rent may be deducted from your wages. Alternatively, you may get lower wages because your employer provides you with accommodation.
Most people who live in accommodation owned by their employer are classed as service occupiers.
Because your right to live in the accommodation is tied to your job, it is often called tied accommodation.
You are a service occupier if:
- it is essential for you to live in the accommodation to do your job, or
- your employment contract says it’s necessary to live in the accommodation to do your job better
Service occupiers can include:
- a live-in nurse, carer or housekeeper
- members of the clergy living in church-owned property
- employees of a hotel, pub or restaurant who live on the premises
- caretakers, park-keepers or gardeners that live in or near their place of work
You are likely to have different rights if you are a farm or agricultural worker living in tied accommodation.
Service tenants live in accommodation provided by their employer, but don’t need to live there to do their job. They have the same rights as other tenants.
As a service tenant, you will probably have an assured shorthold tenancy if you pay rent to a private individual or company.
Your employment contract and your home
All employees have an employment contract.
If you live in accommodation that comes with your job this contract should set out:
- the rent you have to pay or how much is taken out of your wages to pay for it
- how much notice you will be given if your job ends
- how much notice you must give if you resign
Sometimes you may have a separate agreement that just deals with the accommodation.
If you resign or your job ends
The notice period that takes effect when you resign or your job comes to an end is also notice to leave your accommodation.
Your landlord will usually have to apply to the court for a possession order if you do not leave when the notice period expires. There are some exceptions, for example if you are sharing your accommodation with your employer.
If you do not agree with the reasons for your dismissal, you may be able to apply to an employment tribunal. Unless you are reinstated you will not get your accommodation back.
Find out more from Citizens Advice about employment tribunals
Getting repairs done
Your contract should set out which repairs your employer is responsible for and which repairs you should carry out yourself.
Your employer is responsible for safety checks on all gas appliances in the property once a year.
They should also make sure your accommodation is free from health and safety hazards.
Check your tenancy agreement for more information on repairs responsibilities.
Your landlord is responsible for doing most repairs and carrying out annual checks on gas appliances.
Find out more about landlord and tenant responsibilities for repairs
If you lose your 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 eviction procedures.
Help and advice
Get advice if you are unsure of your rights.
Use Shelter's directory to find an adviser or solicitor near you
Last updated 01 Nov 2016 | © Shelter
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