Your rights when you live in supported accommodation depend on the type of accommodation and what support you receive there.
Rights in supported accommodation
Your rights in supported housing depend on the kind of accommodation you live in and who your landlord is.
Types of supported accommodation can vary widely. Supported accommodation may be:
- a house or flat where you receive support from social workers or other organisations
- sheltered housing
- a care home or nursing home
- a hostel or rehabilitation centre.
When you move into supported accommodation, you should be asked to sign an agreement that sets out your rights and responsibilities. This should explain what kind of tenant or occupier you are.
Tenancy agreements in supported housing
You probably have a tenancy agreement if the accommodation is the main element of your support package and you either rent a house or flat or occupy at least some of the accommodation exclusively (for example, a bedroom).
You probably have:
- a secure tenancy if you rent from the council
- an assured tenancy if you rent from from a housing association
- an assured shorthold tenancy or an assured tenancy if you rent supported accommodation from a private landlord
Licence agreements in supported housing
If you share accommodation with your landlord, you are likely to have a licence agreement. Your legal status in likely to be that of an excluded occupier.
You may have a licence agreement if:
- the main purpose of your stay is to receive support (for example, in a rehabilitation centre, hostel, or hospital)
- you rent a room in a group home run by a housing association or charity where you share communal rooms with other people (for example, a bathroom or living room)
In these situations you are probably an excluded occupier, with fewer rights than a tenant. This is especially likely if you are only staying there temporarily.
Quality standards in care homes
A care home can be a residential or nursing home offering support to:
- older people
- people with drug and alcohol problems
- children and young people
- people with disabilities
- people with learning disabilities
- people with mental health problems
Your care home should be registered with the Care Quality Commission and meet their national care standards.
The physical standards of the accommodation should meet national care standards.
The premises must conform to all health and safety standards.
The home should be clean, hygienic and light, and the decor should be in good order.
Also the bedrooms and washing facilities must meet minimum size requirements, with space for you to move about.
Lifestyle and care standards
Your rights and responsibilities as a resident should meet the national care standards. These ensure that you have the right to:
- a written agreement in a format you can understand that outlines your occupancy rights and the terms and conditions of your residence
- be treated with dignity and respect at all times
- have your privacy and property respected (for example, to have a lock on your bedroom door and for staff to knock and wait for permission to enter)
- make informed choices about your life in the care home, how you spend your time and how you receive support
- feel safe, secure and free from bullying, harassment and discrimination
- make complaints without worrying about the consequences
Complaints about standards
Use the complaints procedure at your home if you don't think standards are being met in your accommodation.
By law, your care provider must have a complaints procedure that explains how to make a complaint.
If you are not satisfied with the response or feel your complaint hasn't been taken seriously, you can:
- complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if your care is provided by the NHS
- contact the Local Government Ombudsman if your care is provided by your local council or if you pay for your care
Still need help?
Contact an adviser who specialises in disability or care needs as well as housing.They can look at your circumstances and explain your rights to you.
Your local Shelter advice centre, Citizen's Advice or independent advice centre may be able to help.
Use Shelter's directory to find a local adviser.
Last updated 02 Apr 2015 | © Shelter
If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help