Rights in supported accommodation

This page explains your rights if you live in supported accommodation. Your rights will depend on the kind of supported accommodation you are living or staying in and what kind of support you receive. If you are living in a care home, in addition to your tenancy or occupancy rights, you will also have rights under the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act.

What is supported accommodation?

Supported accommodation can vary widely. For example, supported accommodation may be:

Your rights will depend on the kind of accommodation you live in and who your landlord is.

What are my rights in supported accommodation?

Working out your tenancy rights if you live in supported accommodation can be complicated. If you're not sure about your rights, talk to an adviser at a Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice. They will be able to look at your individual circumstances and explain your rights to you. Use the Advice Services Directory to find an adviser near you.

Do I have a tenancy agreement or an occupancy agreement?

When you moved into your supported accommodation, you should have been asked to sign either a tenancy agreement or an occupancy agreement setting out your rights and responsibilities. This should explain to you what kind of tenant or occupier you are.

Supported accommodation and tenancy agreements

You will probably have a tenancy agreement if:

  • you rent a house or flat, or
  • you occupy at least some of the accommodation exclusively (for example, a bedroom), and
  • the accommodation is the main element in the supported package.

What are my rights?

In this case, your rights will depend on the kind of tenancy agreement you have:

Check your tenancy type if you're not sure what kind of agreement you have.

Occupancy agreements

You may have an occupancy agreement if:

  • you rent a room in a group home run by a housing association, where you share communal rooms (for example, a bathroom or living room) with other people, or
  • the main purpose of your stay is to receive support (for example, if you live in a rehabilitation centre, a hostel or a hospital).

What are my rights?

In this case you will probably be a non-tenant occupier, with fewer rights than a tenant. This is especially likely if you are only staying there temporarily.

Rights under the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act

If you are living in a care home, it should be registered and adhere to the National Care Standards. A care home can be a residential or nursing home offering support to:

  • older people
  • people with drug and alcohol misuse issues
  • children and young people
  • disabled people
  • people with learning disabilities
  • people with mental health problems.

The physical standards of the accommodation and your rights and responsibilities as a resident should meet the national care standards.

Physical standards

  • The premises must conform to all health and safety standards.
  • The home should be clean, hygienic and light and the décor should be in good order.
  • Bedrooms and washing facilities must meet minimum size requirements, with space for you to move about.

Lifestyle and care standards

The national care standards ensure that you have the right to:

  • a written agreement in a format you can understand which 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.

These are just a few of the standards laid out by the Care Commission. You can download factsheets outlining in detail the standards for the different kinds of care homes at the Scottish Government website. The Scottish Government also produces a useful leaflet about the care standards.

What if my care home doesn't meet the standards?

If you don't think standards are being met in your accommodation, you should first use the in-house complaints procedure to complain to staff at the home. If you aren't satisfied with their response or feel your complaint hasn't been taken seriously, you can make a complaint directly to the Care Commission.

Rights under anti-discrimination laws

You can take action if you believe you are being discriminated against because:

  • of your age
  • of your gender
  • you are a disabled person
  • you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT)
  • of your race, colour, nationality or national or ethnic origins
  • of your religion or beliefs.

Find out more about tackling discrimination.

Where can I get help and advice?

If you are concerned about your rights or have been asked to leave your accommodation, you can get advice from Citizens Advice or Shelter advice centre. Use the Advice Services Directory to find an adviser near you. An adviser will be able to look at your situation, explain your rights and help you sort out any problems you have with your accommodation.

The important points

  • Your rights will depend on the kind of accommodation you live in and who your landlord is.
  • When you moved in you should have signed a tenancy agreement or an occupancy agreement setting out your rights and responsibilities. This will explain to what kind of tenant you are.
  • The physical standards of the accommodation should meet the national care standards

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

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