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.
Because your right to live in the accommodation is tied to your job, it is often called tied accommodation.
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
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 have 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. If you have a council or housing association landlord, you will probably be a secure tenant or an assured tenant.
Your employment contract and your home
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
- 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
If your employer wants to end your employment they must give you at least one week's notice. Your employment contract may set out that your employer must give you more notice. You could be dismissed without any notice 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.
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 landlord should make sure the property is free from health and safety hazards. This includes doing annual gas safety checks and installing smoke alarms.
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.
Find out more about your landlord's 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 11 Aug 2017 | © Shelter
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