If you live in accommodation provided by your employer, your rights depend on whether you have to live there to do your job
If you live in accommodation provided by your employer, you'll be either a service occupier or a service tenant.
Because your right to live in the accommodation is tied to your job, it is often called tied accommodation.
You might pay rent to your landlord or it may be deducted from your wages. Alternatively, you may get paid less because your employer provides you with somewhere to live.
You are likely to have different rights if you are a farm or agricultural worker living in tied accommodation.
Check if you are a service occupier
Most people who live in accommodation owned by their employer are classed as service occupiers.
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
Check if you are a service tenant
Service tenants live in accommodation provided by their employer, but don’t have to live there to do their job. They have the same rights as other tenants.
You will probably have an assured shorthold tenancy if you pay rent to a private individual or company. If you rent your home from a council or housing association, you will probably be a secure tenant or an assured tenant.
Rights of service occupiers
If you resign or your job ends
If your employer wants to end your employment they must tell you at least one week in advance. Your employment contract may set out that your employer must give you more notice. You could be dismissed without any warning in some cases of gross misconduct.
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.
Getting repairs done
Your contract should set out which repairs your employer is responsible for and which ones you should do yourself.
Your landlord should make sure the property is free from health and safety hazards. This includes doing annual gas safety checks and installing smoke alarms.
Your employment contract
All employees have an employment contract. It doesn't have to be in writing.
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 you are dismissed or made redundant
- the notice you must give if you resign
Sometimes you may have a separate agreement that just deals with the accommodation.
Rights of service tenants
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. Find out more about eviction of:
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 and installing smoke alarms.
Help and advice
Get advice if you are unsure of your rights. Contact a Shelter adviser online, by phone or in person.
Last updated 24 Aug 2017 | © Shelter
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