Skip to main content
Shelter Logo

Your rights if your home comes with your job

When your home is provided by your employer, it's called tied accommodation.

You’ll either have a tenancy or an occupancy. If you have a tenancy you have stronger rights.

If you have a service tenancy

If you do not have to live in your home as part of your job, you'll have a tenancy rather than an occupancy.

This means your rights are stronger. You have legal tenancy rights as well as rights from the agreement between you and your employer.

To have a tenancy, your situation must usually meet the following requirements:

  • you pay your employer rent

  • you are not required to live in your home to do your job

  • if you chose to, you could live somewhere else and still do your job

Your rights if you have a tenancy

Your rights depend on what type of tenancy you have:

You could have a common law tenancy instead if:

  • you live in police or military housing

  • you rent from the Crown and your tenancy started before 1 December 2017

If you have a tenancy and your employment ends

Your landlord must follow a strict legal process to evict you. The process depends on the type of tenancy you have.

You could stop or delay the eviction at a tribunal or court.

Check our advice on:

If you think you have a tenancy

You can have a tenancy even if you do not have a written tenancy agreement. 

If you think you should have a tenancy and your employer has not given you one, check our advice on getting your landlord to give you a private residential tenancy agreement.

If you need advice on whether you have a tenancy or an occupancy, contact a Shelter Scotland adviser.

If you have a service occupancy

You’ll have an occupancy if your employer gave you the accommodation as part of your job and you have to live there to be able to do your job.

Your rights will depend on what is written in your employment contract.

Usually in your employment contract it'll say:

  • you must live there to do your job better

  • you must move out if your employment ends

  • you do not pay rent or your rent is covered by your work

Examples of an occupancy

  • you’re a live-in nurse, carer or housekeeper

  • you live and work in a nursing home or sheltered housing

  • you live and work on the grounds of an estate, garden or park

If you have an occupancy and your employment ends

Your employer should give you advance notice if they want you to leave your accommodation.

Check your employment contract or occupancy agreement for how much notice you should get.

If you've resigned, been fired or been made redundant, you’ll have to leave your accommodation.

If you’ve been unfairly dismissed, you’ll still need to leave, but you may be able to go to an employment tribunal. Check Citizens Advice guidance on employment tribunals.

If you do not move out

Your employer may need to get a sheriff court order to evict you.

This could give you more time in the property, but the court will probably agree to evict you. You could also be ordered to pay your employer’s court expenses.

Your employer will not need to get a court order if you:

  • live with them or their family

  • stay in holiday accommodation, like a hotel or holiday cottage

Negotiating with your employer

Ask your employer if you need more time to find somewhere else to live.

Use this template to help you know what to say.

Template: ask your landlord for more time

Since you asked me to move out, I have been looking for a new home.

It's unlikely I will be able to move out by <date you’re being asked to leave>.

This is because <explain why, for example: I'm having difficulties finding a suitable property / I have found a new home but I cannot move in yet>.

For this reason, I'm asking you to agree that I can stay until I have somewhere to move into.

I hope we can come to an agreement so that I have time to find a new home and I am not made homeless.

Please confirm if you'll allow me to stay or give me more time to find a new home.

Delaying eviction if you’re an agricultural occupier

You may have extra rights to delay the eviction at court if you're an agricultural employee or apprentice.

The court must consider how eviction would affect you and your landlord to decide how long you can stay.

Contact a solicitor who specialises in agricultural law to help you delay the eviction. You can search for a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland website.

If you're worried about eviction

Contact a Shelter Scotland housing adviser. An adviser can help you work out:

  • whether your landlord has to get a court order

  • how to negotiate a longer notice period

Applying to the council as homeless

You may be classed as homeless if you have to leave your home. You do not have to be living on the streets to be homeless.

Check our advice on making a homeless application.

If you're not a British or Irish citizen, your rights to homeless help could be different. Check our advice on how your immigration status affects your housing options.

Last updated: 19 December 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England